Pazuzu Algarad’s death at Central Prison in Raleigh has been officially ruled a suicide.

Keith Acree, spokesman for the N.C. Department of Public Safety, said Thursday that the State Capitol Police Department has completed its investigation. According to an autopsy report released Wednesday, Algarad, an avowed Satanist accused of killing one of two men buried for five years in the backyard of a Clemmons house, died from severe blood loss from a deep wound to a major blood vessel in his left arm.

The report said Algarad, who died Oct. 28, was found in a pool of blood on a bed in his cell. Prison officials discovered him about 3 a.m. and tried to resuscitate him. Prison officials pronounced Algarad dead at 4:20 a.m. on Oct. 28.

The autopsy report said Algarad had an incised wound on the upper part of his left arm, at the pit of his elbow. The report said Algarad had a perforation of the left brachial artery, a major blood vessel.

Acree said Algarad, 36, used something to cut himself, but investigators with the State Capitol Police have been unable to determine what that instrument was. He said there is no evidence to support rumors that Algarad bit his arm to make the wound. Acree said no one saw Algarad commit suicide and Algarad was alone in his cell.

A number of items from Algarad’s cell were sent to the N.C. Office of the Chief Medical Examiner along with Algarad’s body. Those items included an electric razor and a clear, unlabeled bottle filled with red fluid. Algarad also had filed his teeth into points.

Algarad’s fingernails were short, undamaged and contained embedded blood, the autopsy report said. Algarad also had Satanic symbols and writings on his body, including “Lucifer” and “666.” He also had a black Nazi sign and a black demon on his body, according to the autopsy report.

Algarad had been charged with first-degree murder and accessory after the fact to first-degree murder. His girlfriend, Amber Nicole Burch, 25, is currently facing similar charges. They are accused of fatally shooting and then burying Joshua Fredrick Wetzler and Tommy Dean Welch in 2009. Krystal Nicole Matlock, 29, has been charged with accessory after the fact to first-degree murder.

According to arrest warrants, Algarad is accused of killing Wetzler in July 2009, with Burch and Matlock helping to bury the body. Autopsy reports said Wetzler was shot at least seven times, including three times in the head. Arrest warrants allege Burch killed Welch in October 2009, with Algarad helping her to bury Welch’s body. Welch was shot once in the head, according to autopsy reports.

Algarad had been held at the Forsyth County Jail. But he was twice transferred to Central Prison in Raleigh on safe-keeping orders. The first time was in December 2014 and he stayed at Central Prison until mid-April. Then on May 13, he was sent to Central Prison again.

Acree said he could not comment on whether Algarad was on suicide watch or had tried to commit suicide while at Central Prison because that is considered mental-health information and is contained in medical records, which are confidential.

Chief Deputy Brad Stanley of the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office said Thursday that he could not comment on whether Algarad had tried to commit suicide at the Forsyth County Jail because that information is contained in a sealed safe-keeping order.

Pamela Walker, a spokeswoman with the N.C. Department of Public Safety, said Algarad was housed in general population and that prison officials conduct bed checks every hour, along with formal counts several times a day.

Algarad’s mother, Cynthia James, had expressed worry in 2010 that her son might attempt suicide. In 2010, psychiatrists interviewed James while Algarad awaited trial on accessory after the fact to involuntary manslaughter in connection to the death of Joseph Emmrick Chandler. Chandler’s body was found near the Yadkin River in June 2010. Algarad was eventually convicted of the charge.

James told psychiatrists that she feared her son might try to kill himself if he was not allowed to perform a “dark moon” animal sacrifice.

Algarad had told psychiatrists that he practiced a Sumerian religion that involved the monthly sacrifice of a small animal and that he would have to perform the ritual during what he called the “black moon.” He asked psychiatrists if he could leave the now-closed Dorothea Dix hospital so that he could perform the sacrifice, promising to return after he did it.

The criminal cases for Burch and Matlock are still pending. Prosecutors have not indicted the two, which would send the case to Forsyth Superior Court and start the process for either a trial or a plea bargain. The two are scheduled to appear in Forsyth District Court on Jan. 21.

Get today’s top stories right in your inbox. Sign up for our daily morning newsletter.

mhewlett@wsjournal.com (336) 727-7326 @mhewlettWSJ

Recommended for you

Load comments