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10-year-old boy dead, woman hurt; Gastonia man charged

Kannapolis police have arrested a Gastonia man in connection with the death of a 10-year-old boy who was found Sunday evening in a house with a severely injured woman.

Police have not said whether the child was the woman’s son, but they say the boy’s death was a homicide.

Eugene William Mays, 39, was arrested early Monday in Gaston County and has been jailed in Cabarrus County. Kannapolis police say additional charges are pending in the case.

Police say they were contacted about 8:45 p.m. Sunday by the Cabarrus County Sheriff’s Office and asked to check on the well-being of people at a residence in the 2900 block of South Ridge Avenue. Officers said they had to force their way into the home, and that’s where they found the dead boy and a badly injured woman.

The woman, identified as 32-year-old Christi Melisha Stewart, was taken to Carolinas Medical Center-Northeast. The boy’s name has not been released by police.

Investigators soon focused their attention on Mays, who was found about 2 a.m. Monday by Gaston County police in the 2800 block of Forbes Road in Gastonia. He was arrested on unrelated misdemeanor charges and then transferred to Kannapolis police for questioning.

Detectives charged Mays with first-degree murder later Monday.

They have not said if the suspect and victims knew one another, nor have they released the cause of death of the boy or a motive in the case.

The investigation is continuing. Anyone with information in the case is asked to call police at 704-920-4000 or contact Crime Stoppers at 704-932-7463. Police also can be reached on social media at @kannapolis911 (Twitter) and Kannapolis911 (Facebook).

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