Scotland County officials rule disappearance of missing man a homicide as search continues; suspects identified

Scotland County officials rule disappearance of missing man a homicide as search continues; suspects identified
Herbert Strickland

SCOTLAND COUNTY, NC (WMBF) - The search continues for a man who has been missing for more than a month, his disappearance now being ruled a homicide according to the Scotland County Sheriff’s Office.

According to SCSO, Herbert Strickland, also known as “JR.,” was last seen in the area of Carolina Bay Road on Dec. 18. Strickland was reportedly seen walking out of his home and getting into a black or dark in color GMC Denali or a similar style SUV.

Deputies say witnesses reported hearing several gunshots prior to this vehicle leaving the scene.

Through the investigation, four suspects have been identified and two other people are of interest in Strickland’s disappearance.

Of the six people being interviewed, deputies say two are cooperating.

More than 200 people searched areas throughout Scotland County over the weekend and authorities are asking the public to be mindful of ongoing law enforcement activity as the large search initiative will continue over the coming days.

SCSO has been using a cadaver dog, dive teams and a helicopter to search the area.

Herbert Strickland (Source: Scotland County Sheriff's Office)
Herbert Strickland (Source: Scotland County Sheriff's Office)

“Please do not be alarmed. Everything is safe and there is currently no risk associated to the general public. This search does not pertain to any residents in this area. We are sorry for the inconvenience and we ask that you assist our agency by remaining in your home or away from the areas where you see law enforcement and designated search teams. This will include the use of air support by helicopters and k9 dogs which may be seen in your area,” the department said in a statement released Saturday.

The statement continues to urge those in the area to be mindful of the event and stay vigilant.

Attention Scotland County Citizens in the Hasty, Crestline Road and Barnes Bridge Road area near Hasty Road.... The...

Posted by Scotland County Detective Division on Saturday, January 26, 2019

“Please help us keep our 911 communication lines free and clear. Please do not attempt to enter any area near law enforcement. Photography and videography is not permitted. Please respect our investigative efforts and know the best way to help us at this time is to remain where you are or travel from your residence wherever you were going and to not stop and create traffic hazards or delays.”

Herbert Strickland (Source: Scotland County Sheriff's Office)
Herbert Strickland (Source: Scotland County Sheriff's Office)

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