Charlotte cafe homicide, robbery suspect nabbed in Fayetteville
Posted January 16, 2012
Updated January 17, 2012
Fayetteville, N.C. — A man accused of killing a pregnant Charlotte restaurant manager, discarding her body behind a dumpster and then stealing her car was arrested in Fayetteville Monday, authorities said.
Fayetteville police assisted a criminal apprehension team from the Charlotte-Mecklenburg police department in tracking the suspect, 22-year-old Mark Anthony Cox, to a home at 770 Hedgelawn Way, where he was taken into custody around 1 p.m.
The victim's car was found at a nearby apartment complex.
Cox faces first-degree murder charges and two counts of armed robbery. He was transferred to Charlotte Monday night following the arrest.
The manhunt for Cox began Saturday morning after the body of Danielle Marie Watson, 25, was found by a waste service company employee who was emptying a dumpster near the Flying Biscuit Cafe, at 7930 Rea Road in Charlotte. Officers were on the scene investigating reports that the cafe had been robbed when the body was found.
Cox and Watson were co-workers at the Flying Biscuit, police said.
Watson's fiancée Keith Smith said the two planned to get married next Sunday and that she was two months pregnant.
"She wanted to be a mom so bad. She wanted to have so many kids," he said. "I don't think this guy realized what he did. I mean, he took two lives. He took three; he took mine."
He told a 911 dispatcher that he received a call from Watson around 10:15 p.m. Friday. He heard commotion on the other end and Watson hung up abruptly, he said.
After several attempts to contact her by phone and text message, and without a car to check on her, Smith said he called 911 shortly after midnight.
He told the dispatcher he thought the restaurant was being robbed.
"(I said), 'My girlfriend works there. She called me and hung up abruptly and I could hear her yelling in the background,'" he told 911.
Smith gave them the correct business name, but the wrong address by one digit.
Officers were dispatched to a non-existent business called Plum Biscuits, at 3930 Rea Road. When they arrived on scene, they determined the address was a private home and didn't respond to the Flying Biscuit for about six hours.
According to court records, Cox was released from prison on robbery with a dangerous weapon charges two months ago. In July 2010, he was convicted of felony breaking and entering and larceny.
He was also charged with assault with a deadly weapon in March 2009 and robbery with a dangerous weapon in August 2008, but those cases were dismissed.