Lillington, N.C. — Harnett County authorities located a body late Monday that had been buried in field near Lillington and charged a local man with murder.
The case began Friday, when people reported a suspicious man in the area of Black Lane who was asking passing drivers for a ride, authorities said. The man said his friend had been shot on Tim Currin Road, according to drivers, but deputies who searched the area late Friday couldn't locate anything.
Over the weekend, investigators were able to identify the hitchhiker and get a lead on the possible location of a shooting, authorities said. However, they still were unable to find any evidence of a shooting, and no one was home at the residence they wanted to search.
On Monday, investigators were able to locate the homeowner, David Eugene Gates, who confessed to shooting someone and burying the body in a field near his home, at 291 J.M. Wallace Lane in Lillington, authorities said.
The body was recovered from the field at about 10 p.m. Monday and was sent to the North Carolina Medical Examiner’s Office is Chapel Hill for an autopsy and positive identification.
Gates, 42, was charged with first-degree murder and was being held Tuesday without bond in the Harnett County Detention Center.
Authorities said they haven't been able to locate the hitchhiker yet for questioning.