Series of crimes in three counties ends when suspect ODs
Posted September 7, 2014
Richfield, N.C. — A man who allegedly wreaked havoc across three counties was found dead of an apparent drug overdose in an Edgecombe County swamp Sunday morning, according to Sheriff James L. Knight.
From Saturday night into Sunday morning, law enforcement officers from Rowan, Guilford and Edgecombe County were alerted to the alleged crimes of Montannez Antonio Moody, 33, of 545 Newell Street in Concord. At one point, Moody was the subject of a statewide all-points bulletin.
The crime spree began in Rowan County. Deputies there said Moody went looking for his estranged wife, Julia Moody, Saturday night at a home where she was staying with relatives.
Witnesses said Moody broke a window at 4095 Richfield Road in Richfield just before 10 p.m. and opened fire into the home.
Julia Moody hid in a closet with her two sons.
Her sister, 17-year-old Jennifer Merriman was killed in the gunfire. Her 54-year-old aunt, Bernice Merriman, was injured.
Julia Moody and her sons were unhurt, but her estranged husband was able to flee the scene before deputies arrived.
Hours later in Guilford County, Montannez Moody forced his way into a home on Fairfield Road near High Point and forced a man and woman into his car at gunpoint.
After driving a short way, he forced the man out of the car. That man was able to give a description of Moody and his vehicle to deputies, who issued the APB.
Moody's female kidnap victim told authorities that he was taking drugs and that, in his impaired state, she managed to escape him at about 9 a.m.
The woman said Moody drove her to a secluded area near Southwest Edgecombe High School, where he sexually assaulted her.
The woman ran to a nearby home, where she called police. In the search for her attacker, deputies rerouted traffic in the area and evacuated some homes before they found Moody dead of an apparent overdose.
"They didn't go into details with us, they just told us to evacuate," said Carrie Boykin.
She said Edgecombe County sheriff's deputies knocked on her door at about 11 a.m.
Tina Batten got the same warning. "I really didn't have time to think. Guy with a gun? I'm going to go," she said.