PEMBROKE — More than a month after the body of Delton Cummings was found in the Lumber River, the owner of the home where the 53-year-old was last seen has been charged with his murder, according to the Robeson County Sheriff’s Office.
Cummings, of Oakgrove Church Road in Lumberton, was reported missing by his family on April 26. He was last seen April 25 at Jerry Oxendine’s Iron Horse Drive home, which was destroyed by a fire at about midnight on April 26.
The arrest has been a sense of relief for the family, but doesn’t come close to bringing back the man they called Buddy.
“It’s brought us closure that he’s been arrested,” said Tabitha Kline, Cummings’ cousin. “… We just miss Buddy. We’d rather have him here but we’re relieved Jerry won’t be getting out anytime soon.”
Oxendine, 60, is charged with second-degree murder and has been jailed under a $100,000 secured bond.
According to Anthony Thompson, chief of detectives for the Sheriff’s Office, Cummings was stabbed to death. His body was found behind Nic Pic Kwik on N.C. 710 on the morning of May 9.
Hours after his home was destroyed, Oxendine was arrested for shooting at his 23-year-old son at the Strickland Heights apartments on Roberts Avenue and attempting to flee Pembroke police.
“He was like a brother to me and it’s hard because I didn’t get to say that final goodbye,” Kline said. “… When we called he was right there, no hesitation. He loved family. We depended on him and he depended on us.”
The investigation was conducted by the Robeson County Sheriff’s Office Homicide Division and the State Bureau Of Investigation.