WAKE FOREST, N.C. (WNCN) – A call to 911 released Monday sheds new light on the murder of a Wake Forest mother, with a nanny calling to say she was concerned for the mother’s safety.
Stephanie Autry, 34, was murdered Tuesday, Oct. 27, at her home in Wake Forest. Police arrested her husband, Lanson Paul Stalf, at a Mississippi hotel after authorities said he robbed a bank in that state.
The caller to 911 identified herself as the person watching their 3-year-old son.
“I’m really worried because I have her child,” the caller said.
“I was supposed to bring him home at 3:30 and I had texted her at 1:20 and didn’t get a response. And then I texted her again at 3:30 and said, ‘We’re headed that way.’ And she texted from like an iCloud address and said her phone was messed up.”
The sitter thought that sounded unusual and, after not hearing back after a text at 3:29 p.m., called authorities.
She said in the 911 call that she was afraid of what was going on.
“I have keys to her house but I’m too scared to go in there,” the caller said. “So I can meet someone over there with a key.”
She told the caller that Autry’s husband, Stalf, had just been released from prison.
“He robbed the PNC Bank in Wake Forest,” she said. “It wasn’t an armed robbery but I know he struggled with drugs, from what she told me. And I know she was allowing him to stay there.”
Autry’s body was discovered later that day.
A national manhunt for Stalf followed and authorities in Mississippi said Stalf robbed a bank in Hernando, Misssissippi, on Friday morning.
Stalf, 39, was captured at a hotel in Batesville, Mississippi, later Friday. He remained in the Panola County Jail Monday.
Stalf will face murder charges once he returns to North Carolina. He had previously served 212 days of prison time for a bank robbery in Wake Forest in 2013. He was released Oct. 15.
Autry’s body was discovered after her nanny called police and asked them to check on her.
The stunning Wake Forest murder shocked and terrified neighbors.
“It’s terrible,” said Jeannine Engelbrecht, the next-door neighbor. “I keep thinking about it. We live so close.”
Engelbrecht said her children don’t feel safe after the killing.
“They don’t want to live here any more,” Engelbrecht said.
Engelbrecht called Autry “a nice, beautiful young woman.” She said she had no idea there were any problems with her neighbors.
Byron Engelbrecht said he had seen Stalf around in recent weeks.
“He’d been around but I never talked to him or had any interaction with him,” Byron Engelbrecht said.