Autopsy: Rowan Co. man was shot before his camper was set on fire

Michael Mitchke was found inside burning camper in August, 2022
Sheriff Travis Allen is hopeful that someone will come forward with information.
Published: Oct. 1, 2023 at 6:48 PM EDT
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ROWAN COUNTY, N.C. (WBTV) - An autopsy released by the state medical examiner says a Rowan County man who was found dead inside his camper in August, 2022, was shot before the fire was set.

According to the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office, Michael Mitchke was found deceased in his burned camper on Aug. 21, 2022, on St. Peter’s Church Road.

According to Mitchke’s autopsy report, the cause of death is stated to be gunshot wounds, telling investigators that he died before the fire began. Rowan County Sheriff’s detectives say there may be a connection between the murder of Mitchke and David Kenneth Land who was found shot at his home on Poole Road July 20, 2022.

No additional details are being released at this time according to deputies, but they say investigators are still actively pursuing leads into the two murders, including DNA evidence recovered.

A $10,000 reward is still being offered for information that leads to an arrest and conviction in each case individually, and the Mitchke family has offered an additional $10,000 for their case.

Sheriff Travis Allen is hopeful that someone will come forward with information.

“We feel somebody knows,” Allen said. “We feel that maybe the suspect has been talking or somebody knows about that and we hope that by making people aware that we’re requesting some assistance on these investigations from the public will spur some more leads to the case.

Anyone with information about either case can call Detective Lieutenant Ryan Barkley (704-216-8711) or text a tip to (704-213-3677).