11/19/07 — Resident finds body in woods

View Archive

Resident finds body in woods

By Nick Hiltunen
Published in News on November 19, 2007 1:46 PM

A Granville Drive woman heard gunshots Saturday night and found a dead body in woods near her home on Sunday morning, a witness and police say.

An unidentified man, between the ages of 30 and 40, was found in woods near the 2100 block of Salem Church Road, police spokesman Chad Calloway said.

Calloway said he could not release information about wounds the victim received, his race, or anything else related to his death and said further information would be forthcoming after an autopsy today.

A witness said the victim was a black male.

Angila Sutton of Granville Drive said she called police on Saturday night after she saw a vehicle in the woods behind her property, which borders Salem Church Road, she said.

"I flashed my porch lights. I thought it was kids parking or something. I didn't see the person, but I saw the flashlights going through the woods like someone searching for something," Mrs. Sutton said.

Mrs. Sutton called neighbors to alert them to the possible danger, and at about that time she heard approximately eight gunshots, she said.

"I counted eight gunshots, I said 'Somebody's back there,'" Mrs. Sutton said.

Police came out on the scene but did not find a body there on Saturday night after responding, Mrs. Sutton said.

It was dark at the time of the shooting, which could have impeded police searching at the time, the Granville Drive resident said.

Around 2:15 p.m. Sunday after she went to church, Mrs. Sutton convinced her husband to walk with her back in the woods, convinced something had happened the night before.

"I wanted to walk back in those woods and see if I could find anything," Mrs. Sutton said.

The two stumbled across something that her husband at first thought was a bag of trash, Mrs. Sutton said.

She convinced her husband to approach the dark object, and on closer inspection the pair discovered it was a man in dark clothing with blood on his face, Mrs. Sutton said.

The gruesome discovery disturbs Mrs. Sutton, she said, but added she has often thought that the woods and paths near her property are "a perfect place" for sordid deeds.

"I'm sorry it's so close to my house," Mrs. Sutton said.

"It's just a few yards from the window. It's so easy to access these woods from Salem Church Road. We just blocked it off, so people can't keep cutting through our yard," she said.