Drexel Police have found the body of 52-year-old James Nelson Abernathy of Reed Street in Drexel. Mr. Abernathy had gone missing from his residence at about 9 p.m. on October 13.
Drexel Police Chief Craig Treadway told WHKY that the family searched for Mr. Abernathy that evening, but suspected he was safe at someone else’s home. They reported him missing the following day (October 14), about 17-to-18 hours after he left the residence.
Chief Treadway was searching on his own yesterday (November 2) at about three or four o’clock in the afternoon when he spotted a pair of shorts across a log in an overgrown area off of Reed Street. The Chief detected a faint odor and followed it further down into a ravine, where he found Mr. Abernathy’s body. Firefighters were called to the scene to clear undergrowth and brush from the area so the body could be carried out. Mr. Abernathy’s body was found about 200 yards from his residence and about 100-to150 feet from the roadway.
Chief Treadway said there were no signs of foul play. Mr. Abernathy was known to suffer from several health issues. The Chief suspects that the body had been in the ravine for some time and that Mr. Abernathy passed away a short time after he disappeared. The Chief could not speculate on a specific cause of death. An autopsy will be conducted at Baptist Hospital in Winston-Salem.
Several organized searches had been conducted previously, including one on October 15 and another three days later, which included the use of cadaver dogs. Another search was conducted on October 20. Drexel Police, including Chief Treadway, had continued to look for Mr. Abernathy each day until his remains were found yesterday.
At about 2 p.m. Tuesday (October 31), Alexander Co. Sheriff’s Officers and North Carolina Probation & Parole Officers conducted a compliance check for each of the 101 sex offenders living in Alexander County. Officers went to each registered sex offender’s residence and did a face-to-face check to insure that they were in compliance with the Sex Offender Registry. Registered sex offenders are checked a minimum of four times per year by Sheriff’s Officers and Probation & Parole Officers.
Five warrants were drawn as a result of the compliance checks. Four arrests were made yesterday (November 1).
26-year-old Joshua Michael Betzina was arrested for failure to change his address. He was taken into custody at an address different from his registered address. Betzina was given a $50,000 secured bond.
40-year-old Carlos Eugene Sutherland, Jr. was arrested for being on restricted premises where children are present. He allegedly was on Alexander Central High School property. Sutherland was taken into custody at the old hospital building. Bond was set at $10,000, secured.
42-year-old James Watt Warren was arrested for failure to verify his address. He was taken into custody at the Alexander County Sheriff’s Office and given a $7,500 secured bond.
Betzina, Sutherland and Warren will all appear in Alexander Co. District Court on November 6.
41-year-old William Louis Eggers was also arrested as the result of a previous compliance check. He was charged with failure to appear after failing to change his address. He was arrested by Catawba Co. Sheriff’s Officers on an Alexander County warrant. Eggers was taken to Alexander County and given a $45,000 secured bond with court dates on November 27 and December 11.
There is an outstanding warrant for Devon Duprea Barry, who is wanted in Alexander and Iredell counties failure to change his address. He was last known to be in Cabarrus County. A warrant is also out for James Landon Good for failure to change his address.
48-year-old Tammy Renee Kiziah of 2nd Avenue S.W. in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police at 9:40 a.m. yesterday (November 1) on one felony count of failure to appear and one misdemeanor count of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle. She was also charged with a misdemeanor probation violation. Warrants for her arrest were issued on October 18 & 26.
Kiziah was taken into custody without incident at her residence. She was placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility with bond set at $11,000, secured. She has since been released. A Superior Court appearance was scheduled for December 7 with a District Court date coming up on December 13.
47-year-old Scotty Ray Swink of Clarks Creek Circle in Newton was arrested by Hickory Police at about 11:15 a.m. yesterday (October 31) on one count of failure to appear on a felony. He failed to appear on a charge of felony possession of a firearm by a felony, as well as misdemeanor marijuana charges.
Swink was taken into custody without incident at the Office of Probation & Parole on Main Avenue N.E. in Hickory. He was placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility with bond set at $30,000, secured. An appearance in District Court was scheduled for January 5 in Newton.
26-year-old Derek Andrew Moser of 10th Avenue S.E. in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police at about 10:30 last night (October 31) on one felony count of first-degree burglary. The Catawba Co. Sheriff’s Office also charged Moser with two counts of non-payment of child support.
He was arrested in connection to an incident on May 14 of this year. At that time, Hickory Police responded to a burglary at an address on 9th Avenue S.E. The suspect was identified as Derek Andrew Moser and warrants for his arrest were issued.
Moser was taken into custody without incident Tuesday at his residence. He was placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $75,000, secured, plus a $1,000 bond on the non-support charges. Appearances in District Court were set for today and tomorrow.
51-year-old Amy Riddle Sharpe of 34th Street N.E. in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police shortly before 11 a.m. yesterday (October 30) on one felony count each of larceny of chose in action and uttering a forged instrument. Larceny of chose in action is the theft of a check, banknote or other financial instrument issued by a bank. Warrants for Sharpe’s arrest were issued in Caldwell County in November of 2016.
The suspect was taken into custody without incident at an Auto Parts Store on 12th Avenue N.E. in Hickory. Sharpe was locked up in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility with bond set at $3,000, secured. A District Court date in Lenoir was scheduled for November 2.
41-year-old Bryantae Monreek “Spunk” Evans of Ione Baker Road in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police just before nine o’clock last night (October 30) on one felony count of possession with intent to sell cocaine and misdemeanor count each of resisting, delaying or obstructing a public officer and second-degree trespass. According to H.P.D.’s arrest report, Evans was in possession of 5.7 grams of crack cocaine at the time of his arrest.
Evans was jailed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility with bond set at $10,000, secured. He was scheduled to make a first appearance in District Court today in Newton.
37-year-old Eddie Carlos Linder of South Center Street in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police at 10:30 a.m. yesterday (October 30) on two felony counts of selling cocaine and one felony count of possession with intent to manufacture, sell or deliver cocaine. He was also charged as an habitual felon.
Linder was taken into custody without incident at Frye Regional Medical Center in Hickory. He had been hospitalized following a shooting early Saturday morning (October 28) at the La Rumba nightclub on Highway 70 S.W. Linder was arrested yesterday on an outstanding warrant.
He was placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $40,000 secured bond. He has since been released. Linder will appear in Superior Court on January 2 in Newton.
81-year-old Deward Charles "D.C." Gray has been found. According to a press release issued by Hickory Police, Mr. Gray is safe. A Silver Alert had been issued this morning (October 31) for Mr. Gray, who suffers from dementia. He had last been seen on the 100 block of 39th Avenue Court N.W. in Hickory.
69-year-old Johnny Lee Finandis and 55-year-old Felicia Case Finandis, both of the same address on Aster Lane in Stanley, have been arrested by Lincoln Co. Sheriff’s Deputies as the result of a domestic dispute that spiraled out of control Sunday evening (October 29). Johnny Finandis is charged with one felony count each of attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill and discharging a firearm into occupied property. Felicia Finandis was charged with one felony count of assault with a deadly weapon with the intent to kill inflicting serious injury.
Events leading to the arrests unfolded as Deputies were dispatched to the Aster Lane residence at about 7 p.m. yesterday. Deputies found that the property owner, Johnny Finandis, had fired a shot from a 12-gauge shotgun through the front door.
The incident started when Finandis’s wife, Felicia, and her son got into an argument because the son’s girlfriend was laughing at something they were watching on television. Felicia Finandis came out of an adjacent bedroom and the two females got into an altercation. The son stepped between the two women. At that point, Felicia Finandis began swinging a knife, striking and injuring the son’s finger.
Johnny Finandis entered the residence as the argument continued. He and his wife then went outside. While they were gone, those who remained inside locked the door. At that time, Johnny Finandis returned with a shotgun and fired through the front door. Just inside the door was a small child on an inflatable mattress. No one was hit by the pellets.
Both suspects were placed in the Harven A.Crouse Detention Center. Johnny Finandis was held without bond. Felicia Finandis was given a $25,000 secured bond. No court dates are currently listed.