Lillington, N.C. — The Harnett County Sheriff's Office on Thursday released the identity of a man shot to death and buried in a field Lillington last weekend.
The state Chief Medical Examiner's Office identified the man as Christopher Lee Freelove, 24, of Lillington.
Investigators say that David Eugene Gates, 42, of 291 J.M. Wallace Lane, has confessed to shooting someone last Friday night and burying the body in a field near his home. Gates faces charges of first-degree murder and has been denied bond.
The case began Friday when people reported a suspicious man asking passing drivers for a ride along Black Lane, authorities said. Drivers told deputies that the man said his friend had been shot on Tim Currin Road.
Deputies didn't find anything immediately, but over the weekend, they identified the hitchhiker and developed a lead on the possible location of a shooting, authorities said. On Monday, investigators located the homeowner, Gates, and recovered Freelove's body.
Authorities said Thursday that they are still trying to locate the hitchhiker, who they want for questioning.