A man accused of murder is being held without bond Friday after a body was found dismembered last week in a wooded area near Stallings Road in Union County.
Keith McCarthy, 41, is charged with first-degree murder, robbery with a dangerous weapon and concealing the death of Jaime Hernandez, who was 41 when he was killed.
Officials served a search warrant at McCarthy’s home on Tucker Street in Monroe Thursday.
McCarthy appeared in court Friday morning and was held without bond on the murder charges. Attorney Erin Hucks was appointed as his lawyer.
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Stallings police said they are working with the State Bureau of Investigation on the case.
Sources said Hernandez’s body was found July 24 by a man who was scouting the woods between Smith Farm Road and Stallings Road for deer tracks. The man was reportedly following the tracks when he came up on a pile of bones in a barrel and some on the ground.
It is unknown how long the bones had been in the woods.
Monroe spokesman Pete Hovanec said Hernandez’s wife reported him missing two days ago, but she had not seen him since July 6.
“When the wife came in and filed the missing report, you know, we had some idea of what the missing remains were and pieced a lot of this together,” Hovanec said.
Investigators have not confirmed a connection between McCarthy and Hernandez, but family members told WBTV, the Observer’s news partner, the two were friends. They said there was no history of problems between the two.
The area where Hernandez's body was found is home to several businesses and an industrial park. There are several patches of woods near railroad tracks between Smith Farm and Gribble Roads.
Stallings Chief Minor Plyler said the body was sent to the Mecklenburg County Medical Examiner’s office for an autopsy.