Local News

Suspect Wanted In Connection With Slaying Of 80-Year-Old Woman

Posted January 17, 2006
Updated May 13, 2009

— Moore County sheriff's investigators are asking for the public's help in finding a suspect wanted in connection with the death of an 80-year-old Robbins woman found dead on her farm last week.

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On Tuesday, an arrest warrant was issued charging Johnny Cletas Maness with first-degree murder in connection with the death of Ruthie Morgan.

Louise Maness said her son has lived a troubled life -- in and out of prison for stealing cars. However, she said she loves her son.

"I hope he comes home and gives himself up. I love him. I'd tell him I love him," she said.

Detectives are still looking for Maness and ask anyone with information concerning his whereabouts to call the Moore County Sheriff's Office at

(910) 947-2931

or their nearest law enforcement agency.

Maness, 49, is described as a white male with brown hair and brown eyes. He is about 5 feet 7 inches tall and weighs about 130 pounds.

Authorities said Maness was previously convicted of assault, including assault on a law enforcement officer.

On Sunday, investigators released a photo of Morgan's missing 1983 Ford pickup truck, in which she was last seen alive driving. Detectives said they found the vehicle late Sunday afternoon near Georgetown, S.C.

Morgan was found dead on Jan. 11. Authorities say they believe her death was the result of a homicide, but have not said whether it was the result of a random act of violence or if the suspect and victim knew each other.

Last week, authorities received a preliminary autopsy report on Morgan, but did not disclose what those findings revealed.


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