Update: Murder charge brought

A Hickory man faces murder charges after investigators say he stabbed his estranged wife to death.

Catawba County Sheriff's Department charged Monroe David Byrd Jr. with murdering Amy Marie Byrd, 33, Thursday. The couple was married, but separated, and Catawba County Sheriff Coy Reid said the victim went to Byrd's residence on Springs Road some time Thursday.

"He was staying at Springs Road Trading Post. It had been closed a couple of years," Reid said. "He didn't have a job, and the owner let him stay in back room in the building."

That back room is where deputies said they discovered Amy Byrd's body on a couch Thursday evening. She had been stabbed multiple times.

The building at 2695 Springs Road is also where deputies found Monroe Byrd with dried blood covering his hands, arms and shirt, Reid said.

"The suspect went to a person's house in Longview, and he had blood on him," Reid said. "He tells the person he killed Amy and he needed a place to hide for a couple of days."

The Longview resident told the accused murderer to leave, and Monroe Byrd climbed back into his estranged wife's Jeep Cherokee and left, Reid said. Law enforcement were contacted by the person in Longview.

"We were told he had been staying (at Springs Road Trading Company) and one of our deputies went there," Reid said. "(Monroe Byrd) was sitting out front and he still had dried blood on him. He was taken into custody."

Reid said the accused murderer is claiming self-defense.

"He went into some detail that doesn't match up with the physical evidence we recovered from the victim or the scene," Reid said.

Investigators hadn't recovered a murder weapon by mid-day Friday, but said the victim's vehicle was towed to the sheriff's department, Reid said.

"We will process the vehicle today to see if there is a weapon in there," he said Friday.

Reid said investigators don't yet know why the victim went to Monroe Byrd's residence Thursday or any details about why the couple was separated.

Monroe Byrd is in the Catawba County Detention Center with no bond set. His first court appearance is Friday.