News and Tribune

Floyd County

April 21, 2012

Authorities say New Albany woman, 75, was murdered

NEW ALBANY — Authorities have ruled the death of a 75-year-old woman found dead inside a registered sex offender’s home a homicide, according to a report from newsgathering partner WLKY-TV in Louisville.

Christine Whitis was found dead Thursday afternoon inside a home in the 800 block of Woodbourne Drive, located near University Woods Apartments off Grant Line Road. The home belongs to William Clyde Gibson III, 54.

Gibson was identified early on as a possible person of interest in the case, according to a press release from the New Albany Police Department. Gibson was seen at about 6:30 p.m. Thursday by an officer near the Walmart along Grant Line Road. He was arrested on preliminary charges of operating while intoxicated and resisting law enforcement and was taken to the Floyd County jail, according to the press release.

Whitis' sister-in-law, Bernice Phillips, told WLKY that Gibson's mother was Whitis' best friend. Phillips said it’s hard to believe Whitis is dead.

“I hardly slept at all last night because I just I couldn't get it off my mind because I just kept thinking, 'This is not really happening. It really can't be her,'” Phillips told WLKY.

Despite Whitis’ friendship with Gibson’s late mother, Phillips wondered why she was at Gibson’s New Albany home.

“Crazy, it was just crazy. I just couldn't understand why she would have went down there,” Phillips said.

Police said Gibson is a registered sex offender.

Phillips said Whitis knew the Gibson family for many years. Phillips said she doesn’t know if Whitis knew of Gibson’s criminal background.

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