Police seek public’s assistance in solving Chase City murder
Two months after the murder of 33-year-old Michael Jerome Stewart in Chase City, officers admit they still have few leads in the case.
Although Chase City Police Chief J.A. Jordan said this week that every murder case bothers him and his officers, the sheer brutality and style of this killing is particularly disturbing. Speaking this week, Jordan repeated what he said a few days after the murder, that this crime is the sort of thing you might expect to see in a big city.
“We don’t have this sort of thing here,” he said.
Officers J. Carey and A. DeSantis with the Chase City Police Department responded to the 400 block of N. Washington Street at 11:56 p.m. on the night of Wednesday, Oct. 12, after receiving reports of gunshots shots fired in the area.
Arriving on the scene, they found the body of Stewart, 33, laying face down in the street. Members of the Chase City Rescue Squad arrived on the scene, and Stewart was pronounced dead.
Police immediately began a search of the area, and a canine unit was brought to the scene from the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office. The search failed to turn up any suspect or clues.
Stewart, said Jordan, was transported to the Medical Examiner’s Office in Richmond for autopsy. Although the official results of the autopsy have yet to be released, this week Jordan confirmed that Stewart died of a single gunshot wound to the neck/facial area.
Stewart was a native of Clarksville but was residing in the Chase City area at the time of the shooting.
The case, the first murder recorded in Chase City in 12 years, came as a shock to the community, and citizens gathered at the Washington Street site on the Sunday night after the shooting for a candlelight vigil.
In the days and weeks after the murder, Jordan said his department has been conducting a thorough investigation into the case.
“We’ve been working night and day following up on leads. At this point,” he said, “we still don’t have a lot to go on. No leads and no motives. We’re following up everything, but right now we don’t have anything solid.”
Jordan reported that the investigation is still ongoing.
“Monday marked the two-month anniversary of the murder,” said Jordan. “Still, no arrests have been made. We have been talking with a lot of persons of interest, and the investigation of the case is ongoing.”
Jordan added that this case has been a prime focus of the department for the past two months, and he and his men are frustrated that they have not gotten farther along in bringing the killer to justice.
“It was a very senseless act,” said Jordan. “The victim leaves behind two children. The motive is not known. We’ve put in a lot of man hours, we’ve had assistance from other agencies, but we still have no solid leads.”
Jordan again issued a request for help from the public.
“We need help,” said Jordan. “Somebody out there knows something, and there are two rewards offered in this case.”
Anyone providing information that leads to an indictment and conviction in the case will qualify for a reward of up to $1,000 from Mecklenburg County Crime Solvers. On Thursday morning, Jordan said that an anonymous local source has offered to match the Crime Solvers reward for information in the case.
Citizens with any possible information are asked to call the Chase City Police Department at (434) 372-4244 or Mecklenburg County Crime Solvers at 1-877-676-8477. Callers are not required to give their names and may remain anonymous.