Rowan sheriff: Suspect in shootings found dead of apparent cocaine overdose

A man who authorities believe fatally shot a teenager and injured another woman during a Rowan County home invasion was found dead himself on Sunday of an apparent cocaine overdose.

Sheriff’s deputies found Montannez Moody, 33, of Concord dead in a swampy area of Edgecombe County. They also found the gun they believe he used in the Saturday night shooting and the car they believe he used to get away.

Investigators think the violence was the result of a domestic dispute. Moody was expected to be in court on Monday in reference to a restraining order taken out less than two weeks ago by his wife, Julia Moody.

Instead, witnesses told investigators, Montannez Moody went to the Richfield Road home where his wife was staying, broke a window on a door, fired his gun and fled.

Officials initially believed Julia Moody was kidnapped or worse but discovered her hiding in a closet with her two infant sons. They weren’t harmed.

But deputies say Montannez Moody fatally shot his wife’s sister, 17-year-old Jennifer Merriman. Julia Moody’s aunt, Bernice Merriman, 54, was injured by bullets but is expected to survive.

Deputies and the N.C. Highway Patrol searched for Montannez Moody after the shooting, using search dogs and an agency helicopter to look for his 2006 Infiniti M35 with a front tag that says “U Dig.”

Moody, they said, continued committing crimes in Guilford County, apparently while using a large amount of cocaine. Investigating those crimes led them to Edgecombe County and, ultimately, to Moody’s body.