Local News

Investigators continue probe of Raleigh man's death

Posted August 24, 2009 11:11 a.m. EDT
Updated August 30, 2009 9:37 p.m. EDT

— Neighbors and coworkers of a Raleigh man found dead in his home last week said he could have been there as long as a week.

Crime scene investigators were back at the Jurgen Dietmar Cheston's 2700 Westhampton Place Home Monday, where police discovered the 48-year-old's body Friday evening during a welfare check.

Authorities have not released a cause of death or said how long they believe Cheston could have been dead.

"It's a homicide. (Investigators) are leaning away from thinking that this was a random act," Raleigh police spokesman Jim Sughrue said Monday, declining any further details.

Over the weekend, police said that Cheston's dark blue 2001 Ford Ranger was found overnight Friday about three miles away from his home and that the license tag had been removed.

Neighbors said that Cheston, a federal grants manager for the North Carolina Department of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, lived alone and usually kept to himself. It was not uncommon for them to go without seeing him, they said.

Billy Lassiter, a spokesman for the juvenile justice department, said that some of Cheston's coworkers went to his house a couple of times during the week but that his vehicle wasn't there.

Thinking he might have been out of town, they decided to call police when they were not able to reach him on his home or cell phone, Lassiter said.

"Obviously, working in juvenile justice, we see this happening with our kids, but it's shocking to our employees that it's happened to one of our own," Lassiter said.

Investigators said Cheston was known to frequent night clubs that cater to a Hispanic clientele, and detectives want to talk with people who knew him in that context.

Anyone with information should call Raleigh police detectives at 919-996-3555 or Crime Stoppers at 919-834-HELP. Crime Stoppers pays cash rewards for tips that help solve crimes.