Local News

Second Person Thought to Be in Vehicle

Posted March 9, 2008
Updated March 11, 2008

— Chapel Hill Police Chief Brian Curran said Sunday a second person is believed to be in the photograph of a vehicle driven by a suspect sought in connection with the slaying of University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Student Body President Eve Carson.

Photographs released during a news conference Saturday morning show what appears to be a person in the back seat of the vehicle.

The photos also show a black man who appears to be in his late teens or early 20s driving the vehicle. They were taken by a surveillance camera at an automated-teller machine, where the suspect used Carson's ATM card.

The sport utility vehicle shown in the photos might have been Carson's, police said. But Curran emphasized investigators did not definitively know if the vehicle belonged to the UNC senior.

A third photograph released shows a ball cap the suspect was thought to be wearing. It appeared to have a vintage Houston Astros logo on the front.

After the photos were released, photography expert William E. Mathis contacted The Raleigh Chronicle. Mathis wanted to color enhance a photo of the suspect in the hopes of assisting in the investigation. Mathis said he noticed a dark spot in the photo and determined that it was the shadow of another person in the vehicle.

Investigators still have no motive in the shooting death of the 22-year-old Athens, Ga., native and urge the public to call police at 919-968-2760 or Crime Stoppers at 919-942-7515 if they think they have information that might help.

Police said Sunday they have received a lot of leads in the case, but had not yet identified the man in the surveillance photos.

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Board of Trustees is offering a $25,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in Carson's death.

Police continued to ask anyone who saw Carson's blue 2005 Toyota Highlander on Wednesday or Thursday to call them. The Highlander's Georgia license plate was AIV-6690.

“All conversations are confidential. Callers do not need to reveal their identity,” Curran said.

Officers believe the killer, at some point, had access to her SUV. It was found Thursday afternoon at North and Hillsborough streets, about a mile from the crime scene.

Carson’s body was discovered Wednesday morning on Hillcrest Circle, about a half-mile from campus.

A stolen-vehicle report said Carson had been shot at least once in the right temple. Police described the weapon as a handgun.

89 Comments

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  • lillis Mar 10, 1:41 p.m.

    First of all, are you kidding me? Someone in the media just looked at this picture close enough to see there was someone in the backseat?

    A friend called me Saturday morning to tell me the picture had been released. The first thing he said was "That's a Astros' hat" then I said "someone is in the backseat." Really? Two days later and someone at the news station is just now looking at the photo?

    There was a facebook group already fixing/enhancing the photo and discussing it Saturday morning.

    http://unc.facebook.com/group.php?gid=9164970892

    Obviously, the police have eyes. I'm sure they knew someone else was in the car. They have video not just these still shots. I'm sure they know a lot they aren't saying.

  • melbee Mar 10, 1:10 p.m.

    Took the 3rd photo into photoshop and tried to enhance it, but it's very grainy. But I would have to agree with the idea that another man is in the backseat because I just don't see how that shadow could be anything else. Look on the right side... it looks like the curve of a head up against the window, and then there are glints of light lower down, reflecting off the window... that slightly lighter area... could this be Eve's blonde hair???

    It's been said, but it's a shame that no one who knows this guy has come forward. Maybe they need to up the prize money amount. Sad world.

  • amyj Mar 10, 1:06 p.m.

    we can read our license plate from space, but can't get better security cameras??

  • paradise_found Mar 10, 1:06 p.m.

    i see a man in the back seat .. he is either wearing a black hat or a black doo rag .. and he is wearing a black flight jacket zipped up all the way.
    i don't think it was very smart to color enhance the photo and make the car black .. i know what the inside of a highlander looks like and it sure does look like one to me .. either way - someone needs to turn this man in, someone knows who he is .. he might look 'different' because you might be use to seeing him with his hair braided, so take that face and picture it with braids instead of a fro!

    ..praying for the carson family & her friends!

  • amyj Mar 10, 1:01 p.m.

    maybe its been said but, there were probably 2 people in the rear seat: Eve and someone holding a gun to her head for the pin#. that is the most probable explanation for the person alone in the front seat. BTW what idiot doesn't know all ATMs have cameras.

  • zeitghost Mar 10, 12:29 p.m.

    I sincerely expected that this person would have been identified by someone hungry for the reward by now. This whole event is just sad and awful and the state needs to stop wussy-footing around the capital punishment issue and re-instate it. People like those who shot this young woman are NEVER going to be productive members of society.

  • lovinlife2010 Mar 10, 12:21 p.m.

    pray4Achange:

    The pictures that you are talking about ..... the sketches are from the LSU murders ... not the eve carson murder! When you click on the picutre and then click on the ABC NEWS link below and go to the story .... scroll down the page and on the right hand side you will see the link to the story of the LSU murders!

  • pray4Achange Mar 10, 11:52 a.m.

    I went and followed up with lots of suggestions from this discussion board. 1st of all, when comparing a picture of eves car to a picture of the 2005 highlander they look exactly alike. the speaker is located at the same place (right above to door handle) and along side the steering wheel you can see the shifter (thats where its located) I looked up the car on ebay.com and saw very detailed pictures. Even the heads on the seats are alike. I know one person commented on the suspect having corn rows prior to the picture.
    whats weird is that I typed picture of eve carsons car on google and it has a picture of her body being carried away and also a sketch of the 2 suspects. One of them having corn rows and the other having a very far back hair line and a big forehead. I didn't know they had sketched of the suspects plural?

  • lornadoone Mar 10, 11:49 a.m.

    ratherbnnc... eh? I wish what? I'm not saying I think anyone will solve this other than the police... just meant that a lot of people want to see whoever it was brought to justice as quickly as possible... and thus, are looking for clues

  • mondosinistro Mar 10, 11:36 a.m.

    mondo - that guy used her ATM card. And if the guy was totally innocent, he should have come forward by now and said so.

    ### And he might have. We don't necessarily have all the info up to date.

    If he was using her card, he's guilty of something, even if it's just using a stolen card. He knows his name wasn't Eve Carson and knows that it wasn't his card & money.

    ### Oh, absolutely. That's why I say, if the card access and the photo time stamps match up, he's toast. (Or maybe it's "they.")

    But if they don't, then chances are he's just another brother in a ball cap.

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