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Judge asked to keep murder charge in Wilmington

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WILMINGTON, N.C. - Prosecutors in Wilmington are asking a judge to allow them to move forward on a murder charge against a 51-year-old man, even though the body of the victim hasn't been found.
    
A preliminary hearing for James Bradley began Thursday and is expected to continue Friday. He is charged with murder in the death of 53-year-old Shannon Rippy Vannewkirk.
    
Police arrested Bradley after finding a body they thought was Vannewkirk last month. But an autopsy determined the remains were 34-year-old Elisha Tucker, who has been missing since August.
    
Investigators say Bradley is a suspect in Tucker's death, but have not charged him.
    
New Hanover County District Attorney Ben David told a judge that circumstantial evidence is strong against Bradley and he shouldn't be rewarded for being good at hiding a body.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
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