Sheriff: Evidence pointed to neighbor in triple homicide

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UNION COUNTY, N.C. - The man accused of committing a triple homicide in Union County was offering an alibi to reporters Sunday afternoon, days before he was publicly named a suspect by deputies.

Now, investigators said Randall Morrison’s plan to hide his alleged crimes unraveled day by day.

“My son went to knock on the door (and) there was no answer. He went in and seen the two men inside,” Linda Morrison said Sunday, the day after her son claimed to have stumbled across the bodies of Crystal Hicks, Ronnie Overcash and Jerry Marsh while taking a walk with his 5-year-old daughter.

But three days later, her son was handcuffed and charged with three counts of first-degree murder.

“As evidence developed, it pointed in his direction more strongly each day,” Union County Sheriff Eddie Cathey said.

In a news conference Thursday morning, Cathey said even his investigators did not initially suspect Randall Morrison. But through continuous searches, they began to piece together clues.

“We feel confident to tie it back to Randall Morrison,” Cathey said.

Investigators said during a search on Randall Morrison’s grandmother’s property, they discovered the victims’ cellphones, allegedly dumped there by the suspect after the killings.

Detective said they also found physical evidence inside Ronnie Overcash’s home that tied Randall Morrison to the scene.

“It was real scary, tragic for reals, for it to be that close to home,” said Wanda Jenkins, who lives next door to Morrison and was shocked by the gruesome nature of the murders.

Investigators have not said how the three victims were killed, but did say it involved a shotgun and a knife.

Still, Jenkins said she was not surprised to see her neighbor’s mug shot on television.

“They was different. They was just different. That’s all I can say,” Jenkins said. “They weren’t like everybody else.”

During the killings, detectives said Morrison took the cellphones along with a knife and some display cases, but they do not believe the robbery was the only motive for the crime.

Now, investigators are trying to unravel more complex issues, like the relationships between Randall Morrison and the three victims.

Despite talking to reporters over the weekend, Randall Morrison has since quit talking. Deputies said he has refused to give any information as to why he allegedly killed his cousin, Hicks, and his neighbors, Overcash and Marsh.

Officials said drugs were not involved.

Investigators are also hoping a medical examiner’s report will reveal which victim died first, and who may have been the final target.

On Thursday, Cathey said detectives are also investigating tension between Randall Morrison’s family and the Overcash family as a possible motive.

“Certainly, they lived side-by-side in that house. There is some dissension between those victims and him,” Cathey said.

Cathey said detectives are still determining which weapon -- the shotgun or the knife -- actually delivered the fatal blows.

Investigators still have not recovered the weapons, they said.