Nash County’s top lawman earlier this week was the one who got the call from a person reporting a possible scene of human remains in a wooded area on the far west side of Rocky Mount.

Sheriff Keith Stone on Thursday told the Telegram he was phoned at roughly 11 a.m. on Tuesday and asked if he would go look and confirm.

“And I drove over myself and went in and located the remains,” Stone said.

The remains were at the northwest corner of Sunset Avenue and Arrow Road in the Dozier area of the city.

Stone said he called a cold case investigator of his and had the investigator make contact with the Rocky Mount Police Department for any needed assistance.

Asked whether the Nash County Sheriff’s Office is helping with the police department’s probe, Stone replied in the affirmative.

“We work hand-in-hand in most of these cases,” Stone said. “And we obviously put as much effort into a cold case as we do a case that’s called to immediately.”

Stone also said the forensic team from East Carolina University is helping with the probe.


Police spokesman Cpl. Ricky Jackson, when asked by the Telegram via email about an update of the case, said the investigation is ongoing.

Stone has been Nash County sheriff since 2014 and has three decades of prior service as a state trooper.

Stone on Thursday was asked, given his having long been a law enforcement officer, what goes through his mind when he finds the remains of a deceased person.

“It’s shocking,” Stone said. “And also, you automatically know that it’s going to be a relief to a family. And also, it’s going to be a loss to a family. That’s a human life that’s left out here.”

Police crime scene units could be seen at the scene throughout Tuesday afternoon.

The presence of the crime scene units was stunning given the immediate area includes a well-planned and quiet neighborhood of apartments and houses, as well as a modern Hardee’s fast-food restaurant, a Shell EP Mart and a Sheetz convenience store. The area also is close to Nash Community College.

Stone said that while the scene of the human remains was in a high-traffic area, that just goes to show that of those areas of thickets, “people don’t traverse through ’em often.”