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Deputies investigate homicide in Linden Township

A report from the State Medical Examiners Office in Chapel Hill has determined that a body found in a wooded area of Linden Township on Tuesday was a homicide.

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LINDEN, N.C. — A report from the State Medical Examiners Office in Chapel Hill has determined that a body found in a wooded area of Linden Township on Tuesday was a homicide.

Edward Starr Cook III, 51, died of gunshot wounds, the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office said Wednesday.

Cook’s body was found near Carowind Drive and Billy Joe Lane in Linden. His home was located on Carowind Drive.

Residents of the area had reported a foul odor, according to a statement from the sheriff's office.

Cook worked for the past several years as a groundskeeper at Methodist University. When he did not come to work on Monday, his supervisor, Tom Daughtrey, knew something was wrong. A co-worker went to check on Cook at home.

"The doors were unlocked. The lights were on. The TV was on," Daughtrey said.

Daughtrey said Cook was a frugal man who enjoyed his privacy.

Neighbors said they often heard Cook shooting guns or saw him tending to his property.

The investigation is ongoing, deputies said.

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Bryan Mims, Reporter
Michael Joyner, Photographer
Kathy Hanrahan, Web Editor

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