Police investigate homicide near Monroe High School - | WBTV Charlotte

Police investigate homicide near Monroe High School

Robert Smith Robert Smith

MONROE, NC (WBTV) - Monroe Police detectives are investigating a murder after a man's body was found Friday morning several feet from a high school campus.

Dispatchers got several calls from neighbors around 6 a.m. about the body near the entrance of the Lakeview Estates near Sunset Dr. and Lakeview Dr.,  according to Police Chief Debra Duncan.

Police identified the man as 24-year-old Robert Smith.

Duncan said Smith appeared to have some injuries, but was unsure what caused them.

Earlier in the day, detectives weren't able to determine if Smith's death was the result of a hit and run or a homicide.

The scene is not far from the football field at Monroe High School. Several students could be seen walking along the track while police continued their investigation.

"I hate to hear bad news, especially from anybody in this area, this is a good area, we run in there a lot, so this is a big surprise," said Heather McWhorter, who jogs near the scene frequently.

Agents from the State Bureau of Investigation were called to the scene to assist with the investigation.

At one point early on, Union County District Attorney Marsha Goodenow had also come to the scene to offer assistance. She did not talk to reporters before leaving the scene.

The investigation is being turned over to the Union County Sheriff's office.

Investigators learned Friday afternoon that the homicide might be connected to a robbery that occurred in Union County Thursday evening.

They are investigating whether the victim, Robert Smith, was the victim of the robbery or a participant.

Investigators have not released where the alleged robbery took place.

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