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Suspect Arrested in Mysterious Cumberland County Murder

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WADE — Investigators have arrested a suspect in the murder of a Cumberland County man.

On Sunday, James Mendel White, 28, of Cumberland County was arrested and charged with the first-degree murder of 65-year-old Ernest Easom. White has also been charged with first-degree robbery with a deadly weapon.

Sheriff Moose Butler said the investigation is continuing and that more arrests are expected. Details concerning the cause of death have not been released, but investigators say it was a brutal murder.

Investigators say Easom's car was stolen last Tuesday night and was found torched a few miles away from his home. They were following up on that investigation when they found Easom's body. Easom lived alone in his home.

Investigators spent Friday afternoon combing 65-year-old Ernest Easom's house for clues.

Neighbors and relatives say he had not been seen since his car was stolen Tuesday.

Easom lived next door to the volunteer fire department. Firefighters said he would often stop by to say hello.

"Every time we would have a fundraiser, he would give. He always had a little garden and would give us vegetables. He was just a real nice fellow," Frank Harris recalled.

Easom was well-known throughout the Wade community. Relatives agree that he was the kind of person who would open his doors to anyone.

"He never bothered anybody. He would always go by smiling and waving. He was a very nice person," Faye Bunce said.

If you have any information about this crime, please call the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office at(910) 323-1500.

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John McDonnell, Reporter
John Cox, Photographer
John Clark, Web Editor

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