Man ID'd, found dead in Burke Co. motel parking lot

Homicide at Eagle Motel

MORGANTON, NC (WBTV) - Morganton Public Safety officials have identified the victim who was allegedly run over at a local motel. Police say Jeffrey Boon was found dead in a motel parking lot in Morganton on Sunday night.

Boon was living at the Eagle Motel when he was run over and killed, according to officials.

Police responded to a call for a pedestrian struck at the Eagle Motel on Highway 70. When they arrived, they found a man dead. The driver of the car that allegedly struck the victim, 54-year-old Ria Rufus, was still at the scene.

Police sources say Rufus told them that the victim assaulted him at the motel. Rufus said he got in his car to leave and ran over the victim.

Rufus is charged with involuntary manslaughter.

Authorities believe the two men knew each other and that the victim's death was not an accident. Rufus is from the Marshall Islands and police believe he was staying at the hotel while he was working at Case Farms chicken plant.

The victim also worked at the plant, and officials believe he was also from the Marshall Islands. They say they have been unable, so far, to locate family to notify them of what happened.

The victim had been living at the motel for about three weeks, according to motel managers. They told WBTV that there were no problems with anyone at the motel lately.

Since Rufus does not have permanent address, the magistrate did not set a bond. He is being held in the Burke County Detention Center.

Rufus is expected to appear in court on Tuesday.

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