Crime & Courts

Pair arrested after body found in Alexander County woods

A Charlotte man and an Albemarle woman were arrested and charged with murder Wednesday after authorities found them in a vehicle near a body in Alexander County.

The victim was identified as Robert Adam Hearne Jr. of Albemarle.

Hearne’s nephew, Toni Anthony Hearne, 51, and Linsey Marie Lentz, 33, were also charged with conceal/failure to report a death. They were in the Alexander County Jail without bail Thursday and have first court appearances scheduled for Monday.

Sheriff’s investigators found Hearne, Lentz and the body in the Ellendale community after responding to a 911 call of a suspicious vehicle about noon Wednesday.

Deputies found the vehicle stuck on Highway 64-90 West and noticed an area where it appeared something had been dragged into woods, Alexander County Sheriff Chris Bowman said.

A sheriff’s lieutenant found the body partially buried under leaves and sticks behind an abandoned house, Bowman said.

From a patrol car after his arrest, Hearne told WBTV the body was that of his uncle. Hearne said his uncle was drunk Tuesday night and had pulled out a knife.

“He attacked me, and we started choking each other, and we choked each other ’til we passed out,” Hearne told WBTV. He said when he woke up, he saw that his uncle was dead.

Police went to a house in Albemarle where Robert Hearne is believed to have died, the station reported.

Joe Marusak: 704-358-5067, @jmarusak