Investigators said they now suspect foul play in a death behind the Lenoir mall.
Police and SBI agents spent more than six hours last week collecting evidence in the woods behind the Lenoir mall. There is crime scene tape marking the narrow path and campsites of the homeless.
Investigators said Wade Taylor was found dead at the end of the trail near a large campsite. A recent photo shows the 28-year-old getting food at the Lenoir Soup Kitchen.
“He was always (saying) ‘thank you and yes ma’am,’ and he would say ‘God bless you.’ Just real kind. Kind young fella,” said Angle Moretz with the Lenoir Soup Kitchen.
Police said the autopsy shows Taylor died from a severe assault. So far, no one has been arrested and there are few leads in the case.
A man at the soup kitchen said he was the one who made the gruesome discovery, but he wouldn't go on camera and wouldn't share his name. Police said they know Taylor was seen alive 24 hours before he was found dead.
News spread quickly of Taylor's death in the homeless community in Caldwell County. While police believe this is an isolated incident, people who visited the soup kitchen Monday are being more careful now.
“It's dangerous out here,” area resident Lisa Griffin. “You never know what is going to happen.”
Many people want to know exactly what happened in the woods behind the mall.
“It's a mystery to everybody,” said area resident Roger Ferguson. “Because as young as he was, it has got to be a mystery.”