CONNELLY SPRINGS, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) – A homeless man was found in a ‘hand-dug hole’ behind a Burke County home after being accused of dropping a chainsaw, running from deputies, and having meth on Thursday, March 23, according to the sheriff’s office.
Austin Neece, 26, was taken into custody, served with his outstanding charges, and is being held under a no bond order with an additional $5,000 secured bond; more charges are expected, officials said.
The incident happened at a home on the 8800 block of N.C. 18 South near Rhoney Road.
Deputies say they responded to the residence for a routine call for service; upon arrival, they saw Neece ‘drop a chainsaw and run toward a wooded area.’
Neece fled from a vehicle that had approximately 10.5 grams of meth, a white power substance, and drug paraphernalia inside of it, authorities said. A broader search of the property recovered other stolen items, and those belongings were returned to its owner.
While officials worked to clear the scene, emergency communications got a call Neece was back on the property. Multiple deputies responded, saw Neece, and he ran again.
Someone on scene reported they saw him with a gun, and calls from several anonymous callers came in stating they saw Neece in the area of the 7300 block of Della Drive.
SWAT and CCSO drones searched a residence on that block, and found Neece hiding in a ‘hand-dug hole’ behind the house.