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Man Charged In 1998 Clayton Murder Case

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CLAYTON, N.C. — It took six years, but investigators in Clayton just announced an arrest in the town's only unsolved murder.

Police have charged Jonathan Jenkins in connection with the murder of Joseph Vestal Jr. Vestal was found dead at his mobile home on Nov. 2, 1998.

Jenkins was arrested on first-degree murder charges on Friday. Authorities believe Jenkins and another man went into Vestal's mobile home and shot him to death. They believe it may have been a murder-for-hire.

"I want to emphasize that this does not close the case, but it does end a chapter," said Clayton Police Chief Gary Ragland.

Authorities said the break in the case came from people who came forward with information and breakthroughs in DNA technology.


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