UPDATE: Charges after body discovered in Onslow Co. ditch

JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – The Onslow County Sheriff’s Office and State Highway Patrol led a joint-investigation after a body was found in a ditch Wednesday morning.

Deputies say the body of Patrick Morton was found on Dawson Cabin Road off Highway 17.

“It was about 9:30, 10 o’clock,” explained Edward Stevens, neighbor across from ditch. “We heard a big slam, and I thought it was over on the base if they were booming and shooting, but it must’ve been what happened out there.”

Troopers told WNCT that Tracy McConnell said he hit something the night before but did not know what it was.

They said McConnell looked for what he hit and did not find anything. He and his wife went back to the scene and did not find anything.

Troopers say a neighbor found the body during a morning walk.

They say Morton was walking on the side of the road and did not have any reflective gear.

They do not say alcohol or speed was a factor.

Troopers charged McConnell with Felony Hit and Run and Failure to Report an Accident.

He was released out on a $25,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in court on Thursday.



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