A marine who went AWOL was charged with murder on Saturday after his missing grandmother was found dead in North Carolina, police said.
The body of Sallie Copeland Evans, 74, was discovered Friday night off a highway in Roanoke Rapids, WTVD reported. Family members reportedly became worried they didn't hear from the 74-year-old woman for several days. Her body was discovered near her home.
Isaiah Kahleal Evans Caesar, 18, was arrested in connection with his grandmother’s death. Caesar is stationed at Fort Benning, Georgia, where there's a Marine Corps detachment, but has been absent without leave since April 2. Family members told WTVD that Evans was attempting to convince Caesar to return to the military before her death.
Willie Patterson, Evans’ neighbor, told WTVD the concerned grandmother was talking about driving to Camp Lejeune, the closest military base, to convince Caesar to rejoin the military.
"It's weird because if she was going to leave like that, she'd call me. She'd ask me to take the three little dogs she's got, she'd let me know where the keys at and I'd keep the keys till she get back," Patterson recalled.
Authorities located Caesar at the Homewood Suites in Rocky Mount on Friday after he used his grandmother’s credit card to purchase the hotel room. Officials evacuated the hotel after they found explosives inside the room. Caesar, who also had his grandmother’s car, was taken into custody.
Caesar was also served with a fugitive warrant for desertion. He is being held without bond and is expected to appear in court on May 16.