Body found alongside Duplin County highway

Deputies are investigating how the man's body ended up along this stretch of highway.
Deputies are investigating how the man's body ended up along this stretch of highway.(WITN)
Published: Aug. 16, 2022 at 9:58 AM EDT|Updated: Aug. 16, 2022 at 6:01 PM EDT
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DUPLIN COUNTY, N.C. (WITN) - Deputies said a body was found among trash along a Duplin County highway Tuesday morning.

The Duplin County Sheriff’s Office said it got a call at about 9 a.m. that a dead body was found on the side of the highway near some scattered pieces of trash.

The highway between Ace Hardware and Highway 11 was shut down for about an hour.

“I was on 117 coming back from Wilmington,” Duplin Christian Outreach Ministries’ Jeralene Merritt said.

Deputies say Sydney Miller appeared to have had some medical issues but they won’t know the cause of death until an autopsy is completed. The 61-year-old man had an Illinois driver’s license but had been living in Brunswick County.

“It is out of the norm and is a little unusual for a body to be located on the shoulder of the road without being seen before now,” Duplin County Lt. Shane Miller said.

The sheriff’s office says the body has been sent to the North Carolina State medical examiner’s office for further investigation.

Merritt says her organization helps various people in need who are seen walking along the road... and with their doors only opened Tuesday through Thursday, she says she hopes Miller wasn’t one of them.

“We’re only open three days a week. I’m praying, hoping it wasn’t one of the men that came in and asked for help,” Merritt said.

It’s not known yet if Miller’s death was the result of a hit and run, whether he fell, or if his body was dumped.

The sheriff’s office is asking anyone with information on why Miller was found on the side of the road to contact them.

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