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Autopsy: Lee County Boy Died From Blow To Head

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TRAMWAY, N.C. — The death of an 11-year-old Lee County boy is being investigated as a homicide.

The body of Bradley Way was found a few hundred yards from his family's home on J.J. Lane, near the Lee County-Moore County line Monday evening. Preliminary autopsy results suggest Way was killed from a blow to the head.

Investigators do not know what object was used to kill him or how long he had been dead.

"It's a quiet neighborhood where you would expect a child could stay home safely," said Capt. James Estes, of the Lee County Sheriff's Office. "Something like this happening is a tragedy."

According to investigators, Way's father left for work at 7 a.m. He came home at 5 p.m., expecting his son to be home, but could not find him. The father called the sheriff's office. Several deputies responded and, after a short search, found the boy dead at an abandoned mobile home on Cypress Farm Road.

Authorities said something may have happened while Way was home alone on Monday.

Estes said there are no suspects, no weapon, no motive and no arrests. Investigators spent Tuesday combing the area searching for clues.

Residents are looking for answers, as well.

"Mostly, there's a lot of concerned people asking questions why and want to know why this happens," neighbor Jimmy Fraley said. "I thank God that it's not my child. I feel sorry for the family that's got to suffer with this."

Bradley was a rising fifth-grader at Greenwood Elementary in Sanford. His principal said he was well-liked by his teachers and classmates.

A citizens group is meeting Tuesday and Wednesday to discuss crime in Lee County.

The State Bureau of Investigation is investigating the case. Anyone with information is asked to call the Lee County Sheriff's Office at (919) 718-4577.


Kelcey Carlson


Megan Hughes