Woman with Havelock ties killed in Morehead City
Friends of Wendy Rae Tamagne said she was outgoing and friendly and loved to connect with people.
The 37-year-old woman was found dead July 5 in her Morehead City apartment.
Tamagne attended elementary and middle school in Havelock but moved to Newport as a teenager and graduated from West Carteret High School in 1997.
David Isaiah Godwin, 25, of Newport, who was wanted by police in connection with Tamagne’s murder, was taken into custody in Oregon Friday night after being on the run for most of last week.
“He is still in Oregon and efforts are being made for extradition,” Morehead City Police Lt. Tim Guthrie said.
He is being held in the Clatsop County Jail in Oregon.
Police indicated that Tamagne was beaten, strangled, stabbed and her body dismembered.
According to investigators, Godwin and Tamagne knew each other and the case is considered an isolated incident.
Tamagne liked punk rock music, skateboarding and mixed martial arts, friends said. She was at one time married to a Marine and has a teenage son.
“She lived in Newport for a few years, and then when her and her husband separated, she moved to Morehead with her son,” said Eric Hardy, a friend who first met Tamagne in Havelock.
“I had actually sent her a text Tuesday afternoon,” Hardy said of the date Tamagne’s body was found. “There was a fight Tuesday night and she was a big fan of mixed martial arts. I had texted her Tuesday seeing what she had planned for the weekend. I was going to invite her up here to Raleigh to watch the show with me and a couple of childhood friends of mine that she knew, and obviously I never got a reply back and the next day I got the bad news.”
Hardy said Tamagne had her own political and religious views but respected the opinions of others.
“She was just an all-around good person, easy to talk to,” said Hardy. “I talked to her whenever I had things going on and I could unload problems on her and she was a good listener. She would kind of tell you the things you needed to hear whether you wanted to hear them or not. She would basically tell you the truth.”
Hardy said Tamagne was known to look out for young Marines she encountered at the Time Out Tavern, a Newport Bar where she would hang out with friends.
“She had a respect for the military, being married to a Marine,” he said. “She would always look out for them and make sure that they had rides home and if they had been drinking that they weren’t trying to drive themselves home. She would try to keep them out of trouble.”
Another friend, Billy Rabon, who grew up in Newport and now lives in Greenville, described Tamagne as generous.
“The biggest word I would have to say with Wendy was giving,” said Rabon. “Giving is what she wanted to do.”
Rabon said at her last birthday, she declined presents but wanted friends to make donations to the Carteret County Humane Society instead.
“That’s the kind of person she was,” said Rabon. “She didn’t care about herself. She cared about others. She loved people, but I think she loved animals more than she loved people.”
Childhood friend Heidi Bramble said Tamagne always helped friends in need of help.
“If her friends were downtrodden and maybe didn’t have their lives together or if they needed help, she was willing to reach out,” Bramble said. “If a friend needed a couch, she would offer that. She was just a very caring person, very considerate of the people around her. She just had a spunky personality and she was very comedic.”
Even after Bramble moved to Georgia, she reconnected with Tamagne through Facebook.
“I waited for her posts,” Bramble said. “She was that type of person. You enjoyed having her in your life, even though it was through an Internet connection. She was just a vivacious being.”
Rabon said Tamagne cared deeply for her son.
“She wanted to be the best mother she could be to her son,” Rabon said. “I believe that was her only live goal, to be the best mother she could possibly be to her son.
“Wendy kind of flew by the seat of her pants, but when it came down to it, family and friends were number one with her.”
Clinton Perry knew Tamagne for 25 years and hung out with her after high school.
“She loved to connect with people regardless of their background,” Perry said. “She was an icebreaker, which is wonderful trait to have, connecting cool people with cool people. She loved to bring out the best in people.”
Her death is a mystery to her friends.
“She didn’t deserve any of this,” said Bramble. “It’s absolutely devastating.”
The group “Years Till Now,” one of Tamagne’s favorite groups, will perform a benefit concert to raise money for funeral expenses for the family on Saturday night at Time Out Tavern at 360 East Chatham Street in Newport.