A Bakersville man convicted of the murders of two women from McDowell and Mitchell counties was given two life sentences on Friday.
Cecil Scott Byrd, 42, of Bad Creek Road in Bakersville was found guilty of two counts of first-degree murder. He was sentenced to two life terms in prison without the possibility of parole.
In October 2015, 45-year-old Sarah Denise Riddle was reported missing. According to Capt. Shanon Smith of the McDowell Sheriff’s Office, they received information that Riddle and the suspect, Byrd, were seen together before she went missing.
“She had been living with him [Byrd] for some time and the two were acquainted through his ex-wife,” said McDowell Sheriff Dudley Greene.
During the same time, Mitchell County authorities were searching for 49-year-old Lisa Ann Robbins of Bakersville, who had last been seen leaving the area of Bad Creek Road. According to reports at the time of the murder, Byrd and Robbins had apparently met online and had been living together since early January.
Byrd was arrested in November of that year after officers received a tip that he was going to be picked up by his mother on U.S. 221 North in McDowell.
Authorities with McDowell and Mitchell counties and the State Bureau of Investigation determined that both women were killed via gunshot wounds in separate events in Byrd’s residence, after which he burned their remains in an effort to conceal his crimes.
In a statement made to the press, District Attorney Seth Banks said the following: “This is a truly tragic case for the victims’ families. We are thankful that we could bring some degree of closure for these families at an early stage in this process. With this sentence, we have insured that Cecil Scott Byrd will never again be able to harm anyone in our community. I would like to thank the Mitchell County Sheriff’s Office, the McDowell County Sheriff’s Office, The State Bureau of Investigation and Assistant District Attorney Milton Fletcher for their hard work in seeing that Byrd was brought to justice.”