Police believe the Wake County schools administrator who was last seen alive while getting into that vehicle at his church, may have been killed during a robbery.
Reubin A. McNeill, 46, had been recently appointed principal of a Wake County ninth-grade school scheduled to open this fall in Apex.
His body was found Thursday afternoon along Hogan Lane, a dirt road near the campus of Meredith College, by a utility worker.
"The Raleigh Police Department is working with the Harnett County Sheriff's Department and the Wake County Sheriff's Department," Captain Mike Longmire said. "We are investigating this incident as a homicide, however the cause of death has not yet been determined."
McNeill was last seen leaving Oak Grove AME Zion Church in Harnett County about 9 p.m.Tuesday night, said Maj. Danny Bellamy of the Wake Sheriff's Office. He carried $400 cash that he was going to deposit in a nearby bank. The deposit was never made, said pastor Alfred Ferguson.
"He was such a dear friend, such a good worker, such a dynamic inspirator" Ferguson recalled. "He's going to truly be missed, truly be missed."
Investigators say McNeill was found wearing the same clothes he was last seen in.
"The death of Reubin McNeill leaves us all shaken and very, very sad," said Jim Surratt, superintendent of Wake County schools.
McNeill was a former assistant principal of Apex Middle School and an employee of the Wake school system for more than 20 years, said school spokesman Stella Shelton.
McNeill was promoted to principal a new ninth-grade school, Lufkin Road in Apex, this year.
McNeill's family is appealing for help in locating his dark green Ford Explorer. The vehicle with license tag EVF-8306, has not been recovered. The car has a Phi Beta Sigma sticker in the back window.
"What we would like to do at this point is have the public keep their eyes open for the vehicle," said McNeill's brother, Ron.
Anyone with information about McNeill's disappearance and death should call the Wake County Sheriff's Department at919-856-6800. From wire reports and contribution by Laurie ClowersandKerrie Hudzinski
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