By: Courtney Harrington
On Friday, October 7, Robert Lewis Smith’s body was found on the side of the road across fromMonroeHigh School around six o’clock that morning. The victim was a 24-year-old Marshville man that supposedly had a wife and five children. Local police were able to rule out any kind of accident and has reported the death as a homicide. It has also been stated that the man’s body was dumped at the scene, meaning Smith was murdered elsewhere.
Detectives say that there could be many reasons why the victim’s body was found where it was. “It could be because it’s on the way to the hospital. There are all kinds of reasons why. Then again, they don’t have to have a reason. When people do things like this, they can just pick a spot,” Monroe Police Chief Debra Duncan stated. After working at the scene of the crime for several hours, Smith’s body was finally removed from the area.
Residents who live around the area of the crime were taken off-guard at such a tragedy. Morning runners had to find a different path due to parts of the street being blocked off for several hours. “We’re shocked, I can’t believe it. We were about to go running in there now, but I guess now we’ll have to change our plans,” jogger Heather McWhorter explained.
When working at the scene, Smith’s body appeared to be severely injured. However, the injuries were too vague and detectives could not make out what might have caused the injuries. Officials waited for the autopsy results before any assumptions were casted. According to Eyewitness News, Smith’s murder is somehow related to an armed robbery that took place onLandsford Road in Union County 13 miles away from the scene of the crime. A woman who is a resident in Lakeview Estates across from the scene called 911 around 1:30 a.m. to report a robbery. The woman’s brother had been robbed at gunpoint. By the time the robber left, multiple shots had been fired. The location in which the bullet shells were found have been marked off for further investigation. However, according to the Monroe Police, they are unsure whether or not Smith was a suspect of the crime or a victim.Duncan decided to withhold any known information about the home robbery. “We received a call on another crime and when we went down there we were able to piece two and two and put some things together and tie the body with the other crime scene,” she explained. Information on whether or not the local police have one or more suspects is being retained.
Monroe Police are doing everything they can to find Smith’s cause of death. They are working with the State Bureau of Investigations and the Union County Sheriff’s Department in attempts to figure out every needed detail of the crime. The Monroe Police Department has made it their priority to find Smith’s murderer.