• Deputies: Murder suspect attacked Wingate man during apparent robbery

    By: Blaine Tolison

    Updated:

    WINGATE, N.C. - A suspect is facing first-degree murder charges after a man was found dead inside a Union County home late Sunday night.

    The Union County Sheriff's Office responded to a home on Trull Hinson Road just before 9:30 p.m. after they said a friend of 44-year-old Patrick "Rick" Mooney called 911 concerned that he had not answered his phone and would not come to his door all weekend. 

    “He just was a good man,” family friend Tonia Steele said. “He'd do anything for you.”

    [ALSO READ: Gut-wrenching details released in Union County boy's beating death]

    After receiving no answer at the door, deputies said they forced their way into the home near Wingate and found Mooney dead from apparent stab wounds.

    "There was a significant amount of blood, which would suggest that there was quite a struggle," said Tony Underwood, who is with the Union County Sheriff’s Office.

    Officials told Channel 9 there were signs of struggle in the house and that the Mooney suffered traumatic injuries.

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    Investigators believe Ricky Aldridge, 52, stopped by Mooney's home early Saturday and killed him during an apparent robbery later that morning.

    "We were able to come across some things electronically, specifically phone information,” Underwood said. “We were able to extract."

    Officials said the official cause of death will be determined by the medical examiner. 

    The motive for the murder is not clear.

    “I’m really sorry for his family,” Steele said. “He was a good man. He'd take the shirt off his back for you.”

    Aldridge was charged with first-degree murder and robbery with a dangerous weapon.

    Check back with wsoctv.com for more information. 

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