Deputies say Larry Boyette Sr., 91, was found brutally murdered in his home on Sunday.The home on Boyette Road is located in the Rock Ridge community, about a quarter-mile from the Johnston County line.
More than two dozen deputies and detectives scoured a remote farming area near the Johnston County border Monday looking for the killer.
Wilson County Sheriff Wayne Gay says Boyette's attacker shot him once at point blank range, then stabbed him multiple times.
"This man suffered tremendously. To be 91 years old and to live a life like he did and have the friends that he had and being a church member, I don't see any reason for anybody to brutalize him the way they did," says Gay.
Police say Boyette was last seen Saturday afternoon by his son. The victim is a second cousin of the former governor.