Suspect charged with murder in death of Swansboro man

Crime Tracker

Onslow County, NC Sheriff’s Office

SWANSBORO, NC (WNCT) – The Onslow County Sheriff’s Office said it has arrested and charged a suspect in the murder of a man found dead in Swansboro on Monday.

Investigators said at 4:50 p.m. Monday, Onslow County 911 received a call about a possible murder at a home located at 112 June Holland Drive.

OCSO Deputies and members of the Swansboro Police Department responded to the scene, where they found the resident, 49-year-old Robert Ortiz III, in the home’s front yard.

Inside the home was the body of 61-year-old Kerry Frank Howard, who lived at Lot 9 on Lilli Circle, which investigators said is in a mobile home park next to 112 June Holland Drive.

Investigators said Howard’s body had several stab wounds, but an autopsy to determine his official cause of death will be performed on Wednesday.

Deputies arrested Ortiz on an outstanding arrest warrant for an unrelated assault charge, while they continued to investigate Howard’s death.

After the initial investigation was complete, Ortiz was charged with one Open Count of Murder.

Ortiz is currently in the Onslow County Sheriff’s Detention Center under no bond.

His first court appearance is scheduled for Tuesday.

Authorities said the motive for this murder is still under investigation, and additional information will be released as it becomes available.

Anyone with information about this murder is asked to call the Onslow County Sheriff’s Office at 910-455-3113, or call Onslow County Crime Stoppers at 910-938-3273. Please refer to case 2019-013534 when calling.

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