by: Kathryn Burcham Updated:
ANSON COUNTY, N.C. - Anson County sheriff's detectives hope a look at a man's car and the distinctive stickers will bring a witness forward to help them find a killer.
Deputies were called around 8:30 p.m. Wednesday to investigate a vehicle in a ditch along U.S. Highway 742 North, about 5 miles north of Wadesboro, as a homicide.
When the first deputy arrived, he saw a man outside the vehicle with a gunshot wound in the chest.
The sheriff identified the man who was killed as Keith Jerome Whisnant, 42, of Ocean Isle Beach.
Police say that Whisnant, in his Ford Focus, was traveling from Ocean Isle Beach to Johnson City, Tenn.
The Anson County sheriff said surveillance video showed the man alone at 8 p.m. at a Wadesboro Burger King.
Thirty minutes later, a driver called 911 after spotting Whisnant's car in a ditch.
"Somewhere along the way, we believe he picked up someone," said Sheriff Tommy Allen.
One passing motorist told investigators he saw what appeared to be two people struggling in the front seat of the vehicle as it sat in the ditch.
Anson County officers are searching for a white mid-size car.
Officers believe the driver of this car stopped at the scene, believing it was motor vehicle accident and may have talked to the passenger.
Anson County Sheriff’s Deputies want to get up with this individual as a possible witness.
There was no sign of a second person at the scene when officers arrived and officers do not know if that person was picked up by a passing vehicle.
Desdine Davis said the scene unfolded in her front yard and she's anxious for investigators to track down the mystery passenger.
"Scary, for one thing, 'cause it could have came over here," she said. "Anything could have happened, you know."
The Sheriff's Office is asking anyone with any information in this incident to please call the Anson County Sheriff's Office at 704-694-4188.
To sign up for breaking news alerts, click here.
Anson Co. sheriff identifies man found shot, killed along highway
18-year-old found shot, killed behind Charlotte elementary school
Man fends off would-be carjacker at Wesley Chapel shopping center
The Latest: UK defense minister praises police after attack
Gorsuch navigates full day of testimony as Senate battle percolates