Pair sought in strangulation of Raeford motel manager
Posted January 20, 2015
Updated January 21, 2015
Raeford, N.C. — A nationwide search was underway Tuesday for a man and a woman suspected of killing the manager of a Raeford motel and stealing his car, authorities said.
The body of 58-year-old Jakir Mohammad Sheikh was found Monday morning inside a room of the Raeford Inn, at 8290 Fayetteville Road. Sheikh was last seen Thursday night by motel guests, authorities said.
When he was reported missing Friday, his brother, who owns the motel, began overseeing daily operations. He came across Sheikh's body while making routine room checks, authorities said.
An autopsy determined that Sheikh had been strangled.
The people who rented the room, Tyler Mark Pierce, and his girlfriend, Samantha Shilts, both 21, were missing. Authorities said the couple was stopped Friday night in Ohio driving Sheikh's 2003 Dodge Stratus, which was reported stolen after his disappearance, but they managed to convince the officer that they had just bought the car and were driving to Shilts' home in Oregon.
Arrest warrants have been issued charging Pierce and Shilts with first-degree murder, common law robbery and possession of a stolen motor vehicle.
Anyone who has any information about the case is asked to call the Hoke County Sheriff’s Office at 910-875-5111.