Suspect in custody in death of man found buried in yard in 2014 - | WBTV Charlotte

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Suspect in custody in death of man found buried in yard in 2014

John Bailey Clark Jr (Source: Family) John Bailey Clark Jr (Source: Family)
The body of John Bailey Clark Jr was found buried near his home in Dec. 2014. (WBTV file photo) The body of John Bailey Clark Jr was found buried near his home in Dec. 2014. (WBTV file photo)
BURKE COUNTY, NC (WBTV) -

Investigators say a they have a suspect in custody in connection to the death of a man found buried near his Burke County home one year ago.

Police say the body of 74-year-old John Bailey Clark Jr. was found near the corner of Jenkins Road and Rose Carswell Road in Morganton in late December 2014. 

John Clark's sister-in-law, Glenda Clark, said she and another relative went to check on him when they saw blood trailing out of the house and into a freshly-dug area. 

"In the months since Mr. Clark’s murder, detectives, deputies, and other law enforcement employees have spent countless hours working to solve this case," Sheriff Steve Whisenant wrote in a press release Friday. "At this time, law enforcement have a suspect who is currently in custody on other charges, however, formal charges in this case have not been filed."

The Sheriff said that due to the case being an ongoing investigation, they would not be releasing further details.

Family members said Clark lived alone and kept to himself, except for family. He rarely answered the door - which has everyone wondering how an attacker could get inside - unless Clark knew the person or persons.

Authorities have not revealed the cause of death and have kept many other details confidential. Search warrants released in January revealed few details.

There is a statement about a blood trail inside the home and drag marks on the floor. The warrants also detail several items that were seized from inside the house including a shell casing, a .22 caliber rifle, some clothes and swabs of blood.

One thing that the family said they didn't understand, was a box of rocks that was placed outside the screen door to keep it shut. The box was there the night Clark's body was found, leading most to believe it was moved there by the killer.

In June, just three houses down from Clark's home, 19-year-old Justin Nojan Sullivan was arrested by the FBI, accused of plotting to attack Americans in support of ISIL.

Sullivan is charged with attempting to provide material support for terrorists. According to a federal complaint, he was charged after having several conversations with an undercover FBI employee about planning the attacks.

Sullivan is still in federal custody.

When asked if the two cases could be related, authorities told WBTV that they could not comment.

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