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Police seek man regarding Sun Drop killings

Concord police will release a sketch today depicting a man who could be linked to a double homicide at the Sun Drop Bottling Co. in June.

Authorities wouldn't say whether the man is a suspect, only that they want to talk to him about the shooting deaths of 44-year-old Darrell Noles and 59-year-old Donna Barnhardt.

The two were gunned down June 13 after an apparent robbery in the company's front office.

Noles was applying for a job that morning. And Barnhardt was working behind the front desk as she had for nearly 20 years. One employee working in a different part of the building heard gunshots around 10a.m. and called police after finding the victims.

Police have not said whether the killings were random. And they have not given a motive, saying only that someone apparently took money from the office. The day of the slayings, officers were searching for a black man in his 20s with shoulder-length dreadlocks who was seen leaving the soda-bottling plant just after the shootings. It's unclear whether the sketch released today will be of such a man and what, if any, connection he might have to the homicides.

Since June, police have searched the area around the plant off Cabarrus Avenue several times . They had numerous checkpoints in the area and plan today to announce an increase in the reward for help in finding the killer.

Last month, Noles' widow, Tressy Hackett Noles, was accused of embezzling more than $60,000 from Spectrum Sales in Concord, where she'd worked for 13 years. Concord Police Chief Merl Hamilton said there was no evidence linking the arrest to the Sun Drop killings.

He could not be reached for comment Sunday night.

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