After Brian Thad Carver, 42, of Gastonia was charged with robbery and kidnapping, Gaston County Police believed that the man accused in those two incidents might also have been involved in the death of 90-year-old Ray Ronald Jackson of Dallas.
Jackson's body was found on Landers Chapel Road near the Lincoln County line on Monday by a DOT work crew inspecting a bridge. His vehicle was nowhere nearby but was found Wednesday at a motel in Gastonia.
On Thursday, Carver was charged with the murder of Jackson. He is scheduled for a district court appearance on the charge Friday afternoon. His initial appearance (by video link) was Thursday on the charges from the other two incidents.
Jackson had been missing since March 5th. He suffered from dementia, and a Silver Alert was issued for him. His body was found Monday by the DOT crew inspecting the bridge under which it was found. The body wasn't identified positively until Wednesday and police did not release the cause of death, but they said they were investigating the case as a homicide.
Police do not know how long Jackson was under the bridge, and they have not released a cause of death.
After Jackson went missing, police say Carver went to the home of a 77-year-old Dallas man Tuesday night March 7th saying he needed help. The man let Carver inside his home and police say Carver then pulled a gun and robbed him, stealing a jar of coins and other items.
On Saturday March 11th, police say Carver committed another armed robbery and assault of an elderly couple on Kiser Dairy Road near Dallas. Again he said he needed help and asked for a ride to the hospital. Once the 80-year-old man and Carver got into his Dodge Dakota truck, police say Carver pulled a gun. He took the man's wallet, then forced him to return to his home where Carver forced the elderly woman into her bathroom, then forced the man to drive him again. Several miles down the road, he made the elderly man get out of the truck. He was later picked up by a woman who drove him back home.
On Monday afternoon, Gaston County Police apprehended Carver at the Red Carpet Inn on Broadcast Street just off US321 and I-85 in Gastonia. They found him hiding in the shower of the motel room.
Since Jackson's car was found at the Budget Inn on West Franklin Boulevard in Gastonia and Carver had been known to prey on the other elderly victims, police theorized he might have killed Jackson. They filed the murder charge early Thursday afternoon (March 16th). Later Thursday evening, police also filed charges against Carver's stepson, Joshua Rick, 22, of Kings Mountain. Both are being held without bond.
Police said in light of what happened in all three of these cases, they urge everyone--especially the elderly--not to let people into their homes. Carver was actually known to the elderly man and the elderly couple he victimized. It was uncertain whether Jackson knew him or not.
If someone says they need help, instead of letting them in or trying to take them to a hospital or doctor, call 9-1-1 and let police handle the matter, they said.
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