18-year-old wanted after missing man's body found in northwest Charlotte

(Melendez Suarez)
(Melendez Suarez)

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - An 18-year-old man is wanted in connection with a homicide investigation after a missing man's body was found in northwest Charlotte Friday.

According to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, the body of 20-year-old Jacob Hernandez, was found in the 100 block of Rhyne Station Road Friday.

Detectives identified 18-year-old Jaime Melendez Suarez as a suspect.

Hernandez had been reported missing by his family on Thursday, and based on information gathered during the initial missing person investigation, detectives suspected foul play in his disappearance.

Earlier Friday, police obtained a warrant charging Melendez Suarez with assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury.

Detectives have been working to locate Melendez Suarez, but he remains at large.

Officials were deployed to search a wooded area off Rhyne Station Road, where they located the body of Hernandez.

Initial information indicates that Hernandez was shot in the 4200 block of South Boulevard and transported by the suspect to the location where he was found.

The people who live close to where Hernandez body was dumped say they're pretty shaken up by the whole thing.

The northwest Charlotte neighborhood where Rhyne Station Road sits is pretty woodsy and quiet.

That's something the folks who live there very much appreciate, like Micah Pilson.

"We like being away from the busyness of everyday life. It's part of the appeal of this place," Pilson said.

The feeling and comfort of seclusion may be coming to an end for the neighborhood after Hernandez's body was found in a wooded area by a police search team, close to Pilson's home.

"What comes to mind is we should move, but that's not really an option for us right now," Pilson said. "An 18-year-old that just killed somebody and is still on the loose, I would be freaking out if I was him."

Pilson is still in disbelief that the homicide investigation was nearly in his backyard:"

"It's concerning obviously because we didn't hear a peep," Pilson said.

Murder charges are now pinned against Melendez Suarez as police continue to look for him. Police have not said how the two men knew each other.

This is an ongoing, active investigation and no further information has been released.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call 704-432-TIPS or Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600.

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