Local News

Authorities: Man left for dead in ditch near Hillsborough

Posted November 19, 2014

— Investigators believe a man found in a ditch near Hillsborough last Friday was left for dead.

"He is not able to tell us what happened to him," said Inv. Dawn Hunter with the Orange County Sheriff's Office.

Deputies found the severely beaten man unconscious near the intersection of University Station and Station roads, off Interstate 85 east of Hillsborough. He remained in critical condition at an area hospital Wednesday with brain trauma and other injuries, authorities said.

Investigators on Wednesday asked for the public's help in determining what happened to the man.

Wanda Johnson, who lives in the area, called 911 after seeing the man.

Another neighbor, who thought he was a bag of garbage, told her of the gruesome discovery.

"When I looked at him, I just cried because I could not imagine someone leaving somebody like that to die," she said. "He was shaking and he was moaning. He was not able to speak. And he was bleeding really bad."

Investigators believe the man was near death – with trauma to his brain and liver and blood running from his ears and nose – and had been in the ditch for hours.

Authorities identified the man through his tattoo, but family members asked investigators not to release his name.

"I think they are scared, and I do not blame them with the condition their son is in," Hunter said.

Investigators believe the man, who is in his 30's, was attacked in Durham and thrown from a moving vehicle into the ditch.

"That is somebody's son," Johnson said. "To leave him like that, like he was nothing."

Detectives worry the victim's brain injuries are so severe that he may never be able to talk about what happened to him.

The man squeezed his hand for the first time on Wednesday.

Anyone who saw or heard anything suspicious in the area during the night of Nov. 13 or the early hours of Nov. 14 is asked to call the Orange County Sheriff’s Office at 919-644-3040.


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  • Dale White Nov 20, 2014
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    It is quite cold

  • dh1964 Nov 20, 2014

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    Except that he was found last Friday.

  • JustOneGodLessThanU Nov 20, 2014

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    Ironically, that may have helped save him.

  • babylaceycarpenter Nov 20, 2014

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    There are far too many of them. We are greatly overpopulated in this world.

  • Brandi Gaenzle Nov 20, 2014
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    what is wrong with people!

  • Remah Howell Nov 20, 2014
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    This was a horrible act of violence. smh

  • Heather Brittingham Nov 19, 2014
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    The story is a bit confusing, but he was found last Friday and they think that whatever happened to him happened on the 13th (Thursday). I hope he recovers.

  • Naysayer Nov 19, 2014

    How awful especially since it is so cold outside today.