I think if we had two cable companies operating in Greenville we might see improved customer service. But what can you...

Fugitives sometimes disappear

Robert McWilliams.jpg
1 of 3
Erasmo Tamayo.jpg.jpg
Cesar Laurean.jpg.jpg

Staff Writer

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

ROCKY MOUNT — Coffee and chores: William Manning began his Saturday like any other. The Spring Hope farmer planned to cook slop for his hogs. But at 82 years old, Manning needed help with chopping and hauling firewood.

Manning spotted a young man walking along a rural road, pulled over his pickup and offered to pay him cash to help. But the man wanted the money for nothing, and he took a log from Manning's truck bed and swung it at Manning's head like a baseball bat.

A short time later a motorist found Manning's dead body laying next to his truck. That was April 25, 1970.

This is the part in the story that usually states authorities are looking for the killer.

Not this time: The murderer was arrested decades ago. Actually, he was picked up soon after Manning's body was discovered.

Robert McWilliams was stopped by a Nash County deputy walking along N.C. 58 near Denton's Store. The 22-year-old migrant farmer had Manning's wallet and $60 cash.

Convicted of robbery and second-degree murder, McWilliams was sentenced to 40 years in prison. By late 1977, he had been moved to a medium security prison in Hendersonville, where he walked away from an outside work detail.

If he's alive, McWilliams is 70. Even at that age, authorities said, he is dangerous. He has been on the lam for four decades.

Some fugitives are never found.

Erasmo Tamayo escaped from the horticulture house of a medium security prison in 1993. He was serving an 83-year sentence for second-degree murder and trafficking cocaine in the 1987 death of a cartel-connected drug supplier.

The Rocky Mount Telegram wrote about Tamayo about a decade ago. After the story was published, a federal agent contacted the paper to say Tamayo would never be found — at least in one piece. Tamayo had killed a cartel man and had to pay. Tamayo would be 58 now if he's alive, but the federal agent was pretty sure Tamayo ended up as chum for sharks in the Gulf of Mexico.

Some fugitives get pretty far, but still don't escape justice.

In 2007, U.S. Marine Cpl. Cesar Laurean had it all: A loving wife, a young child, a promising career and a mistress. But then his workplace lover got pregnant and accused him of rape. Laurean's military career was on the line. The Corps still disciplines Marines for adultery, so investigators were simply waiting for the baby to be born to conduct a DNA test. Whether the sex was forced or consensual, if Laurean was the father then he faced court martial.

But then pregnant Lance Cpl. Maria Lauterbach vanished and all of Laurean's problems disappeared along with her.

For three weeks, Lauterbach’s family couldn't convince military officials she was notAWOL. The family finally contacted the Rocky Mount Telegram. A series of stories led to national media attention as local civilian authorities closed in on Laurean as a suspect.

Worried, Laurean and his wife met with three civilian lawyers who told them he was facing the death penalty. They went home and argued. At 2 a.m. Laurean read the online version of the Telegram’s article about Lauterbach having accused a fellow — but yet unnamed Marine — of rape in the months prior to her disappearance.

The next day, authorities dug up Lauterbach’s body in Laurean's backyard. But Laurean was nowhere to be found: 20 minutes after reading the news, he left town in his pickup.

An international manhunt lasted three months before Laurean was captured in Mexico. He was down to his last peso and living off stolen avocados.

In 2010, Laurean was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for first-degree murder. Last year, the 31-year-old inmate was moved to a medium security prison in Tabor City.

Lindell John Kay is a reporter for The Rocky Mount Telegram.


Humans of Greenville


Local photographer Joe Pellegrino explores Greenville to create a photographic census of its people.

Crime and Rescue

September 20, 2018

Cash, jewelry and toiletries valued at more than $500 were stolen from a Greenville home, according to a report from the Pitt County Sheriff’s Office.

A home in the 500 block Bronty Road was forcibly entered between midnight on Sept. 13 and midnight Sept. 16, according to the report. The…

September 18, 2018

Police are searching for an individual who fired a handgun into an occupied vehicle, according to a report from the Greenville Police Department.

The incident took place at 4:57 p.m. on Saturday in a parking lot at 2225 Bellamy Circle, in The Bellamy apartment complex, the report stated. Five men…

September 18, 2018

MACCLESFIELD — Federal and state investigators combed through rubble Monday at the site where the Macclesfield Volunteer Fire Department’s fire station burned to the ground Sunday.

A blaze broke out at around 9:30 a.m. at 104 South 3rd St. Besides the station, the town's ABC Store…

September 16, 2018

A 26-year-old man was charged with driving while impaired after he ran off the road and crashed his vehicle.

Adrian Devonte Harper, 26, of 1008 Legion Street crashed his vehicle near N.C. 33 and 10th Street at 11:09 p.m. on Sept. 7, according to a weekly review of Pitt County court records.

He also…


September 13, 2018

A Williamston businessman is hoping police can flush out the person who stole a portable toilet that belongs to his business from a parking lot in Greenville over the weekend.

The potty belonged to Jeff's Portable Toilets and was stolen from the area of 14th Street and Charles Boulevard. The theft…

September 11, 2018

More details emerged Monday about a fight and officer-involved shooting that killed a 24-year-old Greenville man Sunday morning and sent people scrambling for their lives in downtown Greenville.

According to several witnesses, a large group of people was involved in a verbal altercation that…

Brandon Joyner

September 11, 2018

A Greenville man was jailed at the Pitt County Detention Center under a $1 million bond on charges he trafficked more than a pound of methamphetamine over the weekend.

Pitt County Sheriff’s Office deputies arrested and charged Victor Moralez Lopez, 36, of 1608 Lennie Lane, Saturday, with two…


September 10, 2018

Social media posts and information from the state Office of the Chief Medical Examiner indicate that a man killed by police gunfire early Sunday is a 24-year-old Greenville resident.

Authorities investigating the shooting have not release the identity of the man or two other people who were shot…

Brandon Joyner

September 09, 2018

Greenville Police Department officers shot and killed a man after they, along with other officers, observed him shooting into a crowd in an alleyway early Sunday, the department reported.

The incident occurred about 1:30 a.m. near Fifth and Reade streets, according to a department news release.…


September 09, 2018

ROCKY MOUNT — Authorities made a third arrest Saturday in connection with the double murder of the mayor of Leggett and his wife.

Dakeithia Nesha Andrews, 31, of Parrish Court in Rocky Mount, was charged with conspiracy to commit robbery with a dangerous weapon. Andrews is being held under a…

287 stories in Crime and Rescue. Viewing 1 through 10.
«First Page   «Previous Page        
Page 1 of 29
        Next Page»   Last Page»