Local News

New Photos Give Police 2nd Look at Man Sought in Carson Slaying

Posted March 10, 2008
Updated March 11, 2008

— Chapel Hill police Monday evening released two new photographs of a man with whom they want to talk about the shooting death last week of Eve Carson, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill student body president.

The photos show a black man in a store at the time an attempt was made to use Carson’s debit card at an automated-teller machine in a local convenience store, Chapel Hill Police Chief Brian J. Curran said. He did not specify when or where the pictures were taken, saying he wanted to protect the investigation.

"The photos depict a male going into an area convenience store," Curran said. That man was the "only person in the store when an attempt was made to use Eve Carson’s ATM card."

The man in the photo appears to be the same person who was driving a sport-utility vehicle in bank ATM surveillance photos that police released Saturday morning, Curran said. He did not release the location of that bank, except to say it was in Chapel Hill.

In the earlier pictures, a black man who appears to be in his late teens or early 20s is driving what could be Carson's blue, 2005 Toyota Highlander. A silhouette seems to indicate that a second unidentified man is the back seat.

On Saturday, Lt. Kevin Gunter called the SUV driver a possible suspect.

Curran did not say whether the man succeeded in getting any money from either ATM.

Crime Stoppers received more than 200 calls over the weekend after police released the images, but police have not identified either man, Curran said. Investigators looked at stop-action images from the camera, but they were not clear enough to identify the second man.

Police were still waiting to receive the surveillance tapes from the unspecified bank.

The SUV driver wears what appears to be a hat with a vintage Houston Astros logo. Curran said Monday the hat could be a sign the man is a gang member.

"This certainly is one possible scenario," Curran said, but he added, "just talking about it would be speculation."

Investigators have been talking to gang and community service units at police agencies around the region – "anybody that might have help for us" – he said. Chapel Hill police have consulted with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, State Bureau of Investigation and local law-enforcement agencies.

Curran also played down speculation that Carson might have been in the back seat of the SUV – perhaps held at gunpoint – when the pictures were taken.

"We've looked at the photographs. From what I can tell, I do not see her in the car," Curran said. "That does not mean at some point in the investigation (we won't see that)."

Investigators believe that Carson's killer, at some point, had access to her SUV, which was found a day after her death about a mile from the crime scene. Police would like to hear from anyone who saw the SUV on March 5 or 6. The Highlander's Georgia license plate is AIV-6690.

On the day of the shooting, officers recovered Carson's cell phone about 1½ miles from the scene of her death, according to a search warrant recently released. Sprint Nextel helped police find the phone near a shopping center located on the main road that runs between Chapel Hill and Durham.

Police also retrieved Carson's laptop and memory cards from her campus office, according to the warrants. Investigators were using those, along with bank and phone records, to re-create the final hours of Carson's life.

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.

Orange County District Attorney Jim Woodall urged Chapel Hill residents to take precautions in the wake of the killing, although he expressed confidence that the case would be solved.

Woodall said Carson's many friendships made her death particularly "tragic." One of his assistant district attorneys and a judge in Orange County knew her, he said.

"She's just made so many connections with the university community and the town," Woodall said.

Investigators still have no motive in the shooting death of the 22-year-old Athens, Ga., native and urged individuals to call police at 919-968-2760 or Crime Stoppers at 919-942-7515. Callers can remain anonymous if they wish.

Woodall said he hoped the $25,000 reward offered by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Board of Trustees would "encourage" someone to come forward with information.

211 Comments

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  • YankeeinNC Mar 11, 6:15 p.m.

    I don't know. I reported a crime at Whole Foods in Chapel Hill before Christmas and the police did not ask if the person was black or white, etc. For some reason they assumed the person was Asian despite the fact that I thought otherwise. Turned out the culprit was a white female.

  • Adelinthe Mar 11, 4:20 p.m.

    thinkb4uspeak - "Black people didn't invent the loyalty that crimies share amongst each other, the idea nor the practice."

    Yes, of course you're right. I hadn't thought of it that way, but long long ago, the white man terrorized the Native Americans and slaves of many nations to stick together in a hush hush enclave.

    You're right, and I apologize.

    God bless.

    Rev. RB

  • Adelinthe Mar 11, 4:17 p.m.

    "Race isn't brought into the picture when the perp in the pictures is white! That is my point."

    It isn't an issue then, it's obvious by the pictures.

    When you report a witnessed crime to the police, the first thing they ask you is, "Were they black, white or hispanic?" What does that say???

    The same demographics are used to sort fingerprints. FYI - They're sorted first by gender, then by race. It's always been done that way to whittle things down to the lowest common denominator for identification.

    No race cards there, just makes sense in identifying and sorting for demographics.

    God bless.

    Rev. RB

  • Adelinthe Mar 11, 4:15 p.m.

    ratherbnnc - "The "don't snitch" theme isn't a black value. It is a criminal's value and criminals have shared this code throughout history and across racial lines. The Mob, The Mexican Mafia, Bloods, Crips,VL's,GD's, The Arian Nation down to petty theives and joyriders opt for the code of silence during a pending investigation, agree?"

    I agree with you here, although it sounds biased and harsh. Those of ethnic backgrounds other than black or Hispanic, unfortunately, know we don't have to interfere much because if we wait long enough, they'll get rid of one another, and no one will turn one another in - including their grannies and moms.

    Sad isn't it.

    Praying for them.

    God bless.

    Rev. RB

  • tb7561 Mar 11, 2:48 p.m.

    Why is it that anyone is talking about this being a black or white issue?. The issue is that this young lady is dead be it she is black or white!!. Come on people this is a time when we need to pray for her and her family and friends. And stopped worrying about the race issue.

  • churchgirl2 Mar 11, 1:39 p.m.

    Well said Steph anie! I could not have said it better. This is a good site wral has but sometings that people say up here have nothing to do with the stories. A lot of times this site is use to vent not comment.

  • steph_anie Mar 11, 12:28 p.m.

    I wonder why everthing that comes up on the news has to end up being a race issue??? Why can't people come together as a community and deal with such tragic lost????? It's bad enough when someone is murdered, but then it's even worse when race has to be brought up. We as AMERICANS need to come together and quit all the BAD THINGS GOING ON!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • BLOCKHEAD SQUARED Mar 11, 11:57 a.m.

    Thinkb4dude,

    Remember This : No one can insult you without your consent !

  • Thinkb4uspeak Mar 11, 11:31 a.m.

    I think the only reason race is being entered into this discussion is because the perp in the pictures is black! ....ratherbnc

    Race isn't brought into the picture when the perp in the pictures is white! That is my point.

    I was responding to posters insinuating that the common black person would not turn in the perpetrators( if they knew who they were) because of some "no snitching value" that we must all conform to. Black people didn't invent the loyalty that crimies share amongst each other, the idea nor the practice.
    It is frustrating because I'd like to honor Eve's memory but I have to defend myself against backhanded "no snitching comments" targeted at people that look like me.

  • Lissa13082 Mar 11, 11:20 a.m.

    "I think the only reason race is being entered into this discussion is because the perp in the pictures is black!"

    That and the fact that Eve is white and the media coverage she's getting. Although she's not getting the media coverage because she's white, she's getting it because her killers are still out there and she is a prominate figure in the public's eye, especially on UNC's campus

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