North Carolina Highway Patrol Sergeant D.S.Kinlaw looks over five manila envelopes and shakes his head. “Inside these files are five unsolved fatality cases that we would love to solve,” he said. “These people have families and we would like to bring them closure.”
The five case files that sit in Kinlaw’s hands are ones that the patrol have limited or very little information on despite detailed investigations that have gone nowhere.
“These are cases that are all open; we haven’t given up on them and we believe we are going to solve them,” he stressed. “We just need that right person to remember something or to call, someone that will give us the information that will lead us in the right direction to solve the cases.”
Those cases include:
On July 6, 2006, 43-year-old Gerald May was killed after being struck by a motor vehicle around 10 p.m., while pushing his bicycle along N.C. 24, just outside of Clinton. The driver of what is believed to be a tractor-trailer never stopped after May was hit.
“He was just walking along and something came up behind him and hit him,” said Kinlaw. “A $10,000 reward has been offered for the arrest and conviction of the driver.”
May had four daughters — two were just 6 and 7 years old at the time of his death.
Since the accident, the Highway Patrol has been investigating the case along with the State Bureau of Investigation.
Bennie Ray Carr
On April 26, 2008, 40-year-old Bennie Ray Carr, of Burgaw, was found lying in the roadway, 7.5 miles south of Harrells, around 2:45 a.m.
He was struck by a vehicle; a passerby called 911.
“He was run over,” Kinlaw said. “According to the medical examiner (Dr. Carl Barr), he died instantly.”
This is a case that has been frustrating for investigators, noted Kinlaw.
“We have investigated this case thoroughly,” he explained, “and we have no new leads, no new information … nothing. We would love to have someone who may have seen something call us and help us solve the case.”
Abimael Onan Lopez
On Aug. 2, 2009, tAbimael Onan Lopez, 25, of Newton Grove, was killed after he was struck by a car while walking in the southbound lane of Lassiter Road.
Lopez’s body was later found along the side of the road at 4:45 a.m. by a newspaper delivery person.
Kinlaw said the vehicle involved in the hit-and-run was believed to be a Honda with obvious damage to the left front quarter panel. A tip was unfounded.
“We found the car and the driver and after we sent it to the SBI Lab in Raleigh, it came back that it wasn’t involved in the wreck, so now we are back to step one. We need someone to help us with the information.”
Marco Antonio Perez
The body of 29-year-old Marco Antonio Perez, of West Palm Beach, Fla., was discovered on Aug. 23, 2010 on Governor Moore Road, just south of Clinton.
Perez, who was in Sampson County working seasonally, was walking on the road the morning of Aug. 23, 2010 when he was hit from behind and left in the roadway.
No evidence was found at the scene and frustrated investigators were left hoping for a call that would lead them to the suspect in the case.
“We know he was hit and the driver just kept on going,” Kinlaw said. “Other than that, we don’t have a lot of information on this one either. We are really at square one with this one. We don’t know who it was, that is why we are pleading with the public to come forward.”
Perez was in a coma for months and died on Nov. 23, 2010 at UNC Hospitals, Chapel Hill.
Franklin Andrew McLamb
Thirty-six-year-old Franklin Andrew McLamb, of Newton Grove, was coming home from a gig playing music with a family member on Aug. 26, 2011, when he was hit while riding his moped around 3 a.m. Friday morning on U.S. 701, near Shipp Road, just 4.7 miles outside of Clinton.
“He was riding on a moped that was later found in a ditch,” explained Kinlaw. “However, there was no damage on the moped consistent with it being struck by a vehicle. We thought maybe he ran off the road or ended up in the ditch somehow.”
From reports from the medical examiner’s office, McLamb was found lying in the road and did not have injuries consistent with standing up or sitting up on a moped.
“He was lying in the road,” said Kinlaw. “From that day, we haven’t had any more information on it at all. No one has come forward with information. We don’t know what happened.”
The accident would have happened between 2 and 3 a.m. that morning, noted Kinlaw.
“We do know that whatever hit him had tandem wheels,” Kinlaw said. “I couldn’t tell you if it was an 18-wheeler or a pickup truck, but there is evidence that indicates he was run over by something that had tandem wheels on it.”
Kinlaw said in each of the cases, investigators are working to bring closure to the families of the victims.
“These victims were somebody’s son, father, brother or friend,” he said. “We would like to bring each of the families closure, but we haven’t been able to because we don’t have any information to go on right now.”
And that is why Kinlaw wanted to bring the cases back into the spotlight.
“We just want to put it out there that these cases are still very active,” Kinlaw explained. “We are hoping that someone may have seen something and are afraid to call us. Every call will be anonymous, we just want the information.”
If you have any information on any of these cases, call the N.C. State Highway Patrol at (910) 592-3141.
To reach Doug Clark call 910-592-8137 ext. 123 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org.