Phone call leads to grisly discovery

First Posted: 3/19/2014

PARKTON — A phone call led sheriff’s deputies on Tuesday to the body of a Cumberland County man who had been missing for about two weeks.

Although an autopsy will determine what killed 46-year-old Larry Leonard McNeill, sheriff’s Maj. Anthony Thompson said the body appeared to have a gunshot wound.

The body was found in woods about four miles from the place his girlfriend, Donnial Ford, last reported seeing him, according to the Robeson County Sheriff’s Office.

McNeill, of Cape Fear Avenue, Fayetteville, was reported missing on March 6 by Ford, who told deputies she and McNeill had gone to a home on Barlow Road on March 4 at about 9:30 p.m. to meet a man McNeill knew, according to a police report.

Ford said McNeill told her to stay inside her blue Saturn Ion while he went inside, but he never returned. A man Ford knows as “Chico” later invited her inside the home, and she called a friend to get a ride home, according to the report.

Ford contacted deputies again at about 8 p.m. on Tuesday and told them a female had called her and “told her where she could find her boyfriend and vehicle in the wooded area across the railroad tracks at the end of Knapdale Road,” Thompson said.

They searched the area and found Ford’s car with McNeill’s body inside, Thompson said.

McNeill was wanted by the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office for removing an electronic monitoring device that he was wearing as part of a probation deal, the Fayetteville Observer reported.

He was previously charged with felony breaking and entering, drug possession and possession of a firearm by a felon, according to the state Department of Public Safety.

Anyone with information should call the Sheriff’s Office at 910-671-3100.

It is the second time in a week a body has been found in the area. On March 13, 31-year-old Johnny Issac Robinson was found shot to death on Knapdale Road in Lumber Bridge. No one has been charged in that death.

Another man reported missing in Parkton the same day as McNeill has been located, Thompson said. Jeffrey McNeil, who was last seen by relatives in Fayetteville, was reported missing by his mother after she hadn’t seen or heard from him in nearly two months.