Police drawing in shooting released

Concord police on Monday released a composite drawing of a man they say could be linked to a double homicide at Sun Drop Bottling in June.

Witnesses told police they saw a man fitting the description at the business about an hour before the shooting deaths of 44-year-old Darrell Noles and 59-year-old Donna Barnhardt. Others gave a similar description of a man walking along Cabarrus Avenue after the killings. Police don't have a name. But a retired FBI agent used the descriptions to draw the sketch, which police officers distributed Monday across the city.

The victims were gunned down June 13 after a 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 10 a.m. and called police after finding the victims.

On Monday Deputy Chief Guy Smith told the Observer robbery was the motive. But he couldn't confirm the crime was random or say whether the killer knew the victims or other employees at the plant.

There were no surveillance cameras in the office, Smith said.

About an hour before the shootings, an employee told police he saw a man at the front door of the plant. He tried to open the door but it was locked, so he left, Smith said.

After the slayings, officers were searching for a black man in his 20s with shoulder-length dreadlocks that witnesses saw leaving the area.

“The descriptions are similar enough they could be connected,” Smith said.

Police said they believe the man in the sketch is local but declined to say why or elaborate on his identity.