Class of 2013 alumna, Julia Copenhaver, was charged with first-degree murder of her mother, Susan Copenhaver, who was also an AHS alumna from the class of 1973.
To most of the people who graduated alongside Julia Copenhaver in 2013, the murder was a total surprise coming from a classmate who didn’t seem like the type do such a crime.
“I knew Julia throughout middle school and high school and she never showed any signs of mental illness or the potential to hurt someone,” alumna Sierra Ashley said. “This is still so shocking to me and I hope that she gets the necessary treatment she needs.”
Alumna Samantha Bowers was a victim of Copenhaver’s bullying since they were in 5th grade and continued for the rest of the years they spent together in school.
“I feel terrible for her family and particularly her mom since she was the true victim,” Bowers said. “As a fellow classmate, it’s tough hearing that kind of news from someone you knew but, unfortunately, you can never tell how someone is feeling on the inside no matter how they look on the outside.”
According to StarNews, on Thursday, Oct. 25, the Oak Island Police was met with Julia Copenhaver, who was wearing blood-covered clothing. Officials found Susan Copenhaver dead in the bedroom closet of her home in Oak Island, North Carolina, around 10 a.m, all while the younger Copenhaver sat on the couch of her living room. Later, she was arrested and held on no bond.
Julia Copenhaver checked out not long ago from a state mental hospital before the murder, which was highly against doctors orders. According to her brother Eric Copenhaver, she was also not taking her antipsychotic medication the week leading up to the murder.
“She’s been having this delusion that my mom is public enemy number one,” Eric Copenhaver said in regards to the paranoid delusions his sister was suffering at the time of the murder to the local news organization in Wilmington, North Carolina WECT TV6.
Co-workers of Susan Copenhaver shared words of remembrance on her Dignity Memorial website page.
“Hearing Susan enter our office always brightened my day. Work was somehow easier to tackle. Her perspectives, her laugh, and her anecdotes of her beautiful family will be missed each and every day. Chris, Eric, and John: Love never dies,” Elizabeth Snyder said.
“Susan was such a wonderful person. She was so kind to me when I started working at the same place where she worked. She will be missed. Her family will be in my thoughts and prayers,” Donna Echols said,
According to Wilmington StarNews, Julia Copenhaver is currently being detained at Brunswick County jail without bail, where she has already been charged with a malicious conduct due to spitting at a jailer.