11-year-old boy drove 200 miles to meet a man from Snapchat

11-year-old boy drove 200 miles to meet a man he met on Snapchat alone. The minor child had taken his brother’s car.

(CHARLESTON, SC)- Charleston Police reunited an 11-year-old boy with his family after he drove alone from Simpsonville to Charleston.

While out on patrol in his police cruiser around 12:30 AM, Officer Christopher Braun noticed a motorist who pulled next to him at 1300 Rutledge Avenue. The driver was an 11-year-old boy and the sole occupant in the vehicle. The child told Officer Braun he had just driven three hours from Simpsonville and was lost.

The minor child told the officer that he had taken his brother’s car and drove to Charleston to live with an unknown male he had met on Snapchat. The child had his father’s Insignia tablet guiding him on GPS and it lost signal that was directing him to the Charleston address. Upon losing the GPS signal, the child lost the address and was unable to recover it because Snapchat messages disappear after being read automatically in the system.

Snapchat servers are designed to automatically delete messages sent in a one-on-one chat after both Snapchatters have opened the messages and left the private chat. Snapchat Support said in a recent article, “messages can be set to delete after 24 hours by changing the erase rules in Chat Settings. Snapchat servers are designed to automatically delete all unopened chats after 30 days.”

Snapchat has a minimum age requirement of 13-years-old as a part of compliance with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). When you download the app, Snapchat does ask for a date of birth, and if a child under the age limit is truthful, they will be redirected to the kid version called, “SnapKidz.” Charles E. Francis of Charleston PD said this afternoon that “as far as we know it was just Snapchat.” The app the child was using was not SnapKidz.

Francis said in a brief phone interview Tuesday afternoon that CPD is still in process of analyzing the tablet device the child had with him to find out more about the location and person he was headed to.

The boy gave Officer Braun his name, his father’s name and his father’s telephone. The father and his other son drove to Charleston to pick up his 11-year-old son and the vehicle said Charles Francis, the PIO of Charleston PD.

A good guide explaining how Snapchat works for parents can be viewed here.

Parents are urged to review internet safety tips for their children here.


American Legion Post damaged during Hurricane Florence to receive disaster funding

American Legion Post 64 will receive funding for damages from Hurricane Florence this week.

(POLLOCKSVILLE, NC)- The American Legion Department of North Carolina and the North Carolina Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (NC DMVA) issued a press release Monday afternoon informing the public that American Legion Post 64 of Pollocksville, NC will be presented with a check from the National Emergency Fund. This check is to assist in the rebuilding of the post from the damages from Hurricane Florence in Sept. 2018. The presentation will take place on Wednesday, September 25th   at 10 AM at 195 Evia Gray Lane Pollocksville, NC.

The American Legion and the NC DMVA has also partnered with Team Rubicon and Team Red, White & Blue Raleigh NC, to assist in the rebuilding of Post 64.  The estimated cost to repair the Post is approximately $80,000, however; through the participation of volunteer electricians and contractors, the project cost has been substantially reduced.

Since the early 1920’s, the American Legion has been actively involved in meeting the needs of the community and their members in the wake of disaster.  The National Emergency Fund has provided over $6,000,000 in direct financial assistance to American Legion members and Posts.

Regarding the American Legion Post 64 project, NC DMVA Secretary Larry Hall said, “We are always pleased to assist our veteran partners in any way possible and rebuilding this Post will help not only our veterans but also the entire Pollocksville community.” Commander Gray, a US Marine Veteran and Commander of American Legion Post 64, stated “American Legion Post 64 is extremely appreciative of the NC DMVA, American Legion Department of NC, Team Rubicon and Team Red, White & Blue in working tirelessly to assist in rebuilding this post and helping other displaced veterans in the Pollocksville area.

The NC DMVA began the collaboration for this American Legion project in early February 2019, in support of Governor Cooper’s efforts to support those affected by Hurricane Florence.


For more information about the project or the NC DMVA contact Angella Dunston at angella.dunston@milvets.nc.gov or 984-204-8336.

One man dead from a crossbow shooting

A 20-year-old white male reportedly shot a 58-year-old white male, Frank Tate Sr. with a crossbow that lead to the victims death Sunday afternoon on Richlands Hwy.

Sunday afternoon, at approximately 4 PM on Sept. 22, 2019 deputies from the Onslow County Sheriff’s Office responded to a call about a person being, “shot or stabbed,” according to a news release from the sheriff’s office. The deputies arrived on the  scene at 5363 Richlands Hwy., Lot 6 where they discovered a 58-year-old white male lying in the yard with a stab wound to his side.

The identity of the 58-year-old male victim has just been released at 2:30 PM by OCSO as Frank Tate Sr., resident of the homes address. 

EMS personnel began live saving measures of CPR but the victim was deceased on the scene.

A 20-year-old white male who was located on the scene admitted to “accidentally” shooting the 58-year-old with the crossbow. The crossbow shooter was detained but released and cooperating with law enforcement in this investigation.

“A crossbow and a knife were recovered from the scene,” per the updated press release Monday afternoon.

This video is for educational purposes only and grant safety tips. This has no intention to indicate that safety measures were or were not taken in this case. This is a prevention based education attempt from the current tragedy.

The investigation is continuing in partnership between the Onslow County Sheriff’s Office and the District Attorney’s Office. More information will be released as it comes available.

Anyone with information on this incident is asked to contact the Onslow County Sheriff’s Office at 910-455-3113, Lt. Mark Scott at markschott@onslowcountync.gov or Crime Stoppers at 910-938-3273. Crime Stoppers offers cash rewards of up to $2,500 for information provided that’s deemed of value or assistance to law enforcement. Callers to Crime Stoppers are not required to reveal their identities. Information can also be anonymously texted via Text-A-Tip by typing TIP4CSJAX and the message to 274637.


McGarry sentenced on second-degree murder

Joey McGarry, age 45 was sentenced to serve a period of incarceration in the N.C. Department of Adult Corrections for a minimum of 22-years and a maximum of 27-years for the second-degree murder of his girlfriend Maria Snook in 2016.

Joey McGarry, age 45 was sentenced Thursday morning to serve a minimum of 22 years and a maximum of 27 years in the N.C. Department of Adult Corrections in Onslow County Superior Court for the August 2016 second-degree murder of his girlfriend Maria Snook on Dawson Cabin Rd. Snook was 33-years-old at the time of the fatal shooting.

McGarry shot Snook in a domestic dispute. At the time in 2016, both the defendant and the victim had multiple charges pending in court for misdemeanor drug related crimes.

McGarry was represented by long-time Defense Attorney, Walter Paramore of Jacksonville.

Assistant District Attorney Kelly Neal, State Prosecutor in the case said domestic relationships are now ending badly and are getting worse. “They’re ending stupidly as well,” Neal said.



Paramore told the court that McGarry has suffered with mental illness, attempts of self harm, extreme depression and he is not competent enough to go through a full trial due to substantial memory loss. McGarry physical issues along with mental illness, he has vision deterioration in his left eye as well as dealing with hypertension which is age appropriate for the defendant Paramore said.

Paramore said he suggests Joey, “get into the safest place to be evaluated.” He added that he believes based on expert investigative information that McGarry suffers memory loss from excessive alcohol abuse.

The biggest heartbreak is being away from family and also his son, his client Joey McGarry has had very little contact with family so there’s no support, Paramore said. McGarry’s son is about 10-years-old residing with his mother, McGarry’s ex-wife in Connecticut, Paramore said. “I respect his illness and understand he needs treatment, he has physical issues and needs help,” Paramore told the court. The defense attorney continued explanation that he was uncertain that Onslow County Sheriff’s Office Detention Center is equipped to handle the needs of his client in his condition.

Paramore said McGarry has a documented history of mental illness that goes back to when his client resided in Connecticut prior to the murder of Maria Snook.

The Honorable Judge Charles H. Henry ordered substance abuse counseling and treatment as a part of the sentencing as well as a full mental health evaluation and treatment. Additionally, Judge Henry ordered close observation of the defendant.

McGarry was given credit for time served in the Onslow County Sheriff’s Office Detention Center.

The defendant was sentenced on an Alford Plea which is a method often used in the state of N.C. in cases as this where the client acknowledges the evidence presented by the state is sufficient enough to support a conviction, yet the defendant has given no admission of guilt but agrees to be treated as guilty.

Swansboro man charged with an open count of murder

A Swansboro man has been charged with one open count of murder where the victim was discovered dead inside of his home following a 9-11 call that said a murder “possibly occurred”.

A Swansboro man has been arrested, charged with an open account of murder and set to appear in Onslow county court this Tuesday morning.

Onslow County Sheriff’s Office says that on Monday, Sept. 16 a call was received by Onslow Co. Emergency 9-11 Center at 4:50 PM about a “possible murder that occurred” at the 112 June Holland Drive within the unincorporated area of Swansboro.

In a collaborative investigation, Onslow County Sheriff’s deputies and officers from the Swansboro Police Department responded to the scene. On arrival of the two agencies, 49-year-old Robert Ortiz III, who is the known resident and now suspect of 112 June Holland Drive address was located in the front yard of the residence. “As deputies and officers secured the area, a deceased victim was located inside the residence.”

The murder victim was later identified as 61-year-old Kerry Frank Howard of Lot 9 Lilli Circle, which is in the mobile home park next to 112 June Holland Drive. The cause of death is believed to be the result of stab wounds, but the official cause of death is pending an autopsy which will be performed Wednesday.

As deputies investigated further, it was determined that Ortiz had an outstanding warrant for his arrest. The warrant was for a charge of simple assault on another victim, unrelated to this case said Col. Chris Thomas, OCSO. Ortiz was arrested on that charge while detectives continued to investigate.

On completion of the preliminary investigation, Ortiz was charged with one open count of murder and currently being held in the Onslow County Sheriff’s Detention Center without bond. Ortiz is set to appear for his first appearance in court on Tuesday.

The relationship between the two men is not known at this time.

OCSO says the motive of the murder is still under investigation and more details will be released as it becomes available.


Anyone with information about this case is asked to contact Onslow County Sheriff’s Office at 910-455-3113 Detective Division, or Crime Stoppers at 910-938-3273. Please refer to case 2019-013534 when calling.

ANONYMOUS REPORTS OF CRIMINAL ACTIVITY CAN BE REPORTED TO ONSLOW COUNTY CRIME STOPPERS AT (910) 938-3273. You can also text your Crime Stoppers Tip via Text-A-Tip by typing TIP4CSJAX and your message to 274637

Official autopsy report reveals that James Pannoni was stabbed and suffered chemical burns

The official autopsy & toxicology reports for James Pannoni age 63 who was murdered and buried in a shallow grave at his home has been released today. Pannoni’s death was a result of multiple stab wounds yet he suffered chemical burns as well as one limb attempted to be severed. The murder
suspect is calendared to be in Onslow Co. court on 9/26 for the brutal murder of James Pannoni.

N.C. Office of the Chief Medical Examiner at Coastal Pathology Associates released the official autopsy report today for James Pannoni who was the victim of a heinous act of violence resulting in murder spring of this year.

In April 2019 Onslow County Sheriff’s Office released information that Mr. James Pannoni age 63, was found deceased, buried in a shallow grave at his residence in Hubert. The named murder suspect, Saundra Evon Wagner was captured and apprehended following a high speed chase in Dothan, AL a few days later.

Pannoni was originally reported missing by his daughter who requested a wellness check from Massachusetts after not speaking with her father since his birthday on March 5, 2019. That is the last definitive date Pannoni was known to be alive.

The shallow grave was discovered by law enforcement the evening of April 8, 2019.

Pannoni had a medical history of heart attack where he had a bypass surgery, an abdominal aortic aneurysm often associated with hypertension, which he also had history of (high blood pressure), high cholesterol, depression, also back pain.

The toxicology report reveals there were no illegal drugs in his system. The report further revealed that Pannoni had alcohol and prescription medications that treat depression in his system at the time of death as well as allergy medication consistent with Benadryl. The Diazepam, commonly known as Valium is a medication reported present in his system is said to treat depression, anxiety and is often known to create a calming effect. The toxicology report states the level of diazepam was at a therapeutic level. Nordazepam, commonly known as Nordaz is a medication indicated present on the toxicology report that is also said to be a sedative that treats anxiety and also acts as a muscle relaxant. There were no findings of opioids/opiates, cocaine or chloroform.

With the previous mentioned factors, it only seems to logic that Mr. Pannoni didn’t have a fighting chance in defending himself against this viscous attack.

In the preliminary report it was known that the victim’s cause of death was believed to be from multiple stab wounds and remains a consistent result in the full report.

The autopsy and toxicology report released Monday afternoon on Sept. 16, 2019 reveals James Pannoni suffered chemical burns down his left side in addition to the stab wounds as well as an attempt at disarticulation of his right arm at his elbow. This means that his right arm was attempted to be severed by what is consistent with a saw mark that exposed the joint of his right elbow completely per the complete autopsy report. Additionally, he suffered multiple abrasions on his face.

The autopsy report states that there was a lesion on the left buttock and extending down the back of his left leg consistent with chemical burn.

His body was covered in sandy like soil with a strong bleach smell present, covered in two shower curtains and a sheet of clear plastic with a brand new flower bed planted atop of the shallow grave at his home.

Pannoni was stabbed four times where his lungs were punctured with a total of 7 wounds listed in the autopsy to include other injuries to his body.

Saundra Evon Wagner, Suspect. Photo Courtesy Of OCSO

Saundra Wagner is calendared to appear in Onslow County court on Sept. 26. for the felony murder of James Pannoni and Jan. 27, 2020 for felony and misdemeanor larceny.


OCSO is seeking information about a shooting leaving two victims injured

JACKSONVILLE, NC- Onslow County Sheriff’s Office is seeking the public’s help obtaining information about a drive-by shooting that occurred on Myna Drive Sunday, September 15, 2019.

Onslow County Sheriff’s Office received a report at 3:00 PM of a drive-by shooting on Myna Drive in the Gum Brach Road area of Jacksonville. Deputies responded and discovered two male subjects had been shot, both receiving potential life-threatening injuries.  

The victims, Daqaun Torres-Huff, 22 of Myna Drive and Steven Lamar Lewis, 21 of Carole Drive, Jacksonville were both transported by EMS to the Naval Trauma Center at Camp Lejeune. One of the injured individuals was later transferred to Vidant Medical Center in Greenville.

Witnesses described seeing a light-colored midsize SUV as the possible suspect vehicle.  Detectives are currently working leads on the shootings and are asking anyone with information to call the Sheriff’s Office.

Photos Courtesy of OCSO

A motive has not been confirmed.  Additional information will be released as it becomes available.  The victims were targeted, and it is not believed to be random.  

The public is not believed to be in any danger.

Please call Onslow County Sheriff’s Office at 910-455-3113, Detective Curlee at 910-989-4074, Michael_curlee@onslowcountync.gov or Crime Stoppers at 910-938-3273 if you have any information pertaining to this incident. Please refer to case 2019-13486 when calling.

MISSING: 32-year-old Jessamyn Martin last seen in the area of White Oak River Campground

Onslow County Sheriff’s Office is asking for the public’s help locating a missing person who was last seen in the area of the White Oak River Campground around August 28, 2019.

Courtesy of OCSO

Jessamyn Ruth Martin is a 32-year-old white female described as being 5’03, 120 lbs., with medium length blonde hair and blue eyes. Martin was expected at an address on Ramsey Rd. on August 29, 2019, but never arrived. Martin is believed to be driving a white SUV (unknown make or model) and to have two dogs with her.

If you see her or know of her whereabouts, please contact Onslow County Sheriff’s Office at 910-455-3113, Det. Curlee at 910-989-4074, or Crime Stoppers at 910-938-3273. Please refer to case 2019012832 when calling.

Crime Stoppers offers cash reward of up to $2,500 for information that is deemed of value or assistance to law enforcement. Information can also be anonymously texted via Text-A-Tip by typing TIP4CSJAX and your message to 274637 (CRIMES). Callers to Crime Stoppers may remain anonymous and never have to reveal their identity.

Onslow Co.- Ten fast facts to know preparing for Hurricane Dorian

Ten quick bites of information to know ahead of Hurricane Dorian. From school closings, shelters, landfill hours, free pet supplies and how to receive alerts.

School Closures: Brent Andersen, Onslow County Schools announced that all schools will be closed for all students from Wednesday, September 4th through Friday, September 6th. There will be no school or evening activities during this time period. OCS staff will have a Teacher Workday on Wednesday. Unless otherwise notified by their supervisor, OCS staff will not work on Thursday. On Friday OCS 10-month staff will not work and OCS 12-month staff will report as conditions permit, unless otherwise notified by their supervisor.

All unincorporated areas of Onslow County have been declared in a state of emergency by Onslow County government officials Tuesday morning.

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The Onslow Beat

Shelters: Shelters open Thursday, Sept. 5th at 7 am. Locations:
Jacksonville Commons Middle School (Pets & Special/Medical Needs)
Swansboro High School
Dixon Middle School
Richlands High School

Citizens are asked to bring all medical supplies and to begin having medications refilled now to have through the storm even if they do not intend to come to a shelter. For citizens on oxygen, it is encouraged that tanks are refilled in advance. Any special devices or machines needed for medical purposes should be brought to the shelter with you.

If you need transportation to a shelter please fill out this form and submit by email to make those arrangements as quickly as possible.

Citizens are encouraged by Onslow County Manager, David Cotton to keep up with social media updates as there will be Facebook live broadcasts twice a day at 7 am and 7 pm on the county government page.

Questions about preparing- Phone Bank: The phone bank is open until 6:00 pm on Tuesday, then starting on Wednesday at 8:00 am (operational 24-hours), it will remain staffed continuously until Hurricane Dorian no longer poses a threat to Onslow County. Please call 910-989-5027, the phone bank is for non-emergent questions to help citizens prepare.

Trash: Onslow County Landfill hours are extended today and tomorrow (Tuesday & Wednesday) until 7 p.m. to assist citizens with hurricane preparations. Located at: 415 Meadowview Rd. Jacksonville. Phone number 910-989-2107.

Pets: Jaded Paws Rescue is open daily to help families with pet food and other supplies as available for FREE. Jaded Paws is located at 1009 Onsville Dr. Jacksonville Suite A. Phone number . Phone: 910-389-2372.

Onslow Co. Courts: Closed Thursday and Friday. ALL buildings and courts sessions are closed 9/5-9/6. To obtain more updates, please visit the NCCOURTS.gov website for all up to date closings.

ALERTS: Get local alerts – weather hazards, evacuations, missing persons, etc. – sent straight to your phone.You can receive FREE emergency alerts by phone calls to landlines, text messages, emails and more.In addition to English, ALERT Onslow translates notifications into: German, French, Japanese and Spanish.
Visit: CodeRed to sign up.

For the Board of Commissioners State of Emergency Proclamation announcement this morning you can watch here:

Insurance: Check your homeowners insurance polices ahead of the storm and verify what benefits your policy offers and ensure everything is up to date. USAA representative Ina said, under mandatory evacuation orders some policies may cover temporary living expenses. If you are a USAA policy holder, check your policy for details on the website at USAA Help or the USAA Mobile App.

How much food and water: Onslow County EMS Director, Norman Bryson urges citizens to have enough food and water for seven days per person in the home. The usual minimum is three days but it is best to be prepared for seven days.

Download the FEMA App:

The National Hurricane Center website:

Emergency Plans

Develop and document plans for your specific risks.

Brigade Boys & Girls Club Brigade Invitational Golf Tournament comes to Onslow County for the first time

(Jacksonville, N.C.)– Attention all Golf Enthusiast! Richlands Piggly Wiggly is proud to present the inaugural, Brigade Boys & Girls Club Brigade Invitational Golf Tournament. This instant fall classic will be hosted at the Jacksonville Country Club on Friday September 6th and proceeds will benefit eight Brigade Boys & Girls Club sites throughout Onslow County. This is the first year having this event in Onslow County.

Photo Courtesy of Brigade Boys & Girls Club
Photo Courtesy of Brigade Boys & Girls Club
Photo Courtesy of Brigade Boys & Girls Club

Pictured is board member on the right, Bill Mercer– chairman of the golf committee. Photos from a past New Hanover Brigade Invitational.

Channeling the spirit of Boys & Girls Clubs, the Brigade Invitational is designed with FUN as its top priority and will be a great way to spend time with friends and colleagues, while also raising funds and awareness for the organization in our community. 

 “I am so thankful to our Onslow County Advisor Board members who are working tirelessly to help make this tournament a reality,” said Keith Williams, Brigade Boys & Girls Club Onslow County Executive.  “Our volunteers’ continued support and faith in our mission truly changes the lives of countless children in Onslow County.” 

The tournament will be played in a “Captain’s Choice” format and first, second, third and last place winners will be recognized.  The event will begin with registration at 11am and lunch at noon. Refreshments will be provided throughout the day as well as other surprises and swag.

Brigade aims to raise $30,000 to sustain youth development programs implemented at its eight locations throughout Onslow County.  The organization serves 2,200 children in a tri-county area and has a mission to enable all youth, especially those that need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens.

Sponsorship and foursome opportunities are still available, register online at Brigade invitational or contact Caitlin Diaz at 910-455-9003, email: cdiaz@brigadebgc.org or visit http://www.brigadebgc.org.

JPD is investigating a fatal shooting where victim and suspect have been identified

Jacksonville Felon, Tyquan Skyree Hayes is wanted for the murder of a Willard, NC man, Da’Shaun J. Pearsall (victim) that occurred early this Wednesday Morning.

Jacksonville police department is investigating a fatal shooting that occurred Wednesday morning on Davis Street.

JPD reported that at approximately 7:31AM on Wednesday morning, August 21, 2019 officers were dispatched to a specified location from a report of a shooting on the 1200 block of Davis Street.

The responding officers found a 23-year-old young man flying on the roadway suffering from a gunshot wound. Jacksonville Public Safety first responders immediately began CPR. The Victim was pronounced dead on scene.

The victim’s identity has been confirmed and released by JPD as Da’shaun J. Pearsall of Willard, NC.


Victim, Da’Shaun J. Pearsall of Willard, NC (FB PHOTO)

His name was initially withheld pending notification to his family.

The preliminary investigation found that a suspect vehicle fled the area. Officers have been canvassing the area to locate the vehicle and suspect. The suspect remains at large who has however, been named.

Jacksonville Police are looking for 24-year-old Tyquan Sykree Hayes of Jacksonville, NC for Wednesday morning’s murder of 23-year-old Da’shaun J. Pearsall of Willard, NC.

NC Department of Public Services database reports prior felonious criminal history for Tyquan Skyree Hayes as a prior Class G Felon convicted of Common Law Robbery in 2014. Hayes was just released from NC Department of Adult Corrections in February of 2019 on a probation revocation following the initial conviction and serving 2-years in prison. Hayes was arrested by JPD Aug. 1, 2018 and charged with felony manufacturing, selling or delivering a controlled substance within 1,000 feet of a school; felony possession with intent to manufacture, sell or deliver cocaine; felony selling cocaine; and felony delivering cocaine.


Suspect, Tyquan Skyree Hayes. 

“The investigation has progressed since this morning.” said Deputy Chief Ashley Weaver. “Detectives have conducted interviews throughout the day. A Search Warrant for a residence near the shooting scene was executed and a search conducted. We have identified a person of interest at this time and are continuing to investigate any and all leads.”

“The victim and suspected shooter were known to each other” said Deputy Chief Weaver. “We appreciate the assistance of the public and ask that anyone who may have been in the Davis Street area and may have seen something to give us or Crime Stoppers a call or text right away.”

The preliminary investigation has found that a suspect vehicle fled the area. Officers have been canvassing the area to locate the vehicle and suspect. The suspect remains at large.

“We are in the preliminary stages of this investigation” said Deputy Chief Ashley Weaver. The name of the victim is withheld pending notification to his family.

This is considered to be an isolated incident with no threat to public safety.

Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to contact Sergeant Shawn Marcinowsky at 910-938-6412 or smarcinowsky@jacksonvillenc.gov or Crime Stoppers at 910-938-3273.

Crime Stoppers offers cash rewards of up to $2,500 for information determined to be of value to law enforcement. Callers to Crime Stoppers are not required to reveal their Identities. Information can also be anonymously texted via Text-A-Tip by typing TIP4CSJAX and your message to 274637. Please refer to case number 19-07964 when calling or texting about this case.

SILVER ALERT: 19-Y-Old Lexus Mercedes Benz George Missing from Mt. Olive

 North Carolina Center for Missing Persons issued a report through the North Carolina Department of Public Service issuing a silver alert announcement on Monday Aug. 19, 2019, for a 19 -year-old young woman, Lexus Mercedes Benz George. Citizens are asked to be on the lookout for Lexus Mercedes Benz George. She is believed to be suffering from some form of other cognitive impairment.

She is described as:

Gender: Female

DOB: 06/12/2000

Age: 19

Race: Black

Height: 5′ 5″

Weight: 130 pounds

Hair Color: Black

Hair Length: Medium

Eye Color: Brown

Last seen wearing black scrub clothing.

Location Last Seen: 220 Smith Chapel Rd, Mount Olive, NC 28565

 Her direction of travel is unknown at this time and she is believed to have been traveling on foot to an unknown location.

Anyone with information about her disappearance or whereabouts is asked to call Sgt. J. Hughes at Mt. Olive PD at: 919-252-9082.


Sheriff Miller warns about scams that continue targeting Onslow citizens

Additional scam information released from the OCSO by Sheriff Miller, warning citizens to take heed of warnings that a variety of scams are targeting citizens.

Onslow County Sheriff Hans Miller released additional information this afternoon about ongoing scams, warning citizens to be aware.

Back in April, the OCSO released a post notifying citizens of several scams that had been brought to our attention.  This week they’ve learned from a citizen that there is a new one out there, and Sheriff Miller wants everyone to be aware of it.  They are referring to this as the, “Medicare SCAM.”

 The caller, claiming to be with Medicare Health Services called asking the citizen for information. The caller somehow already had the citizen’s social security number but was trying to gather more information under the claim that they would increase the citizen’s Medicare benefits.  The press release specifically states, “THIS IS NOT TRUE AND IS A SCAM!!!!!!”

The citizen luckily did not provide any additional information and immediately called the Sheriff’s Office.

Sheriff Miller again emphasizes, “NEVER, EVER give ANY kind of personal information to anyone over the phone!  A legitimate business will correspond with you through letters sent through the US Postal Service, or certified letter.  No legitimate business will ask for personal information (address, phone number, social security number, bank account information, etc) over the telephone!”

Be Aware of additional scams we are experiencing in our area that are noted below.

“Arrest Warrant SCAM”- Where the incoming call could come from a different area code or even a local number that citizens don’t recognize.  Many times, that number is “spoofed” and not in service.  Sometimes, the incoming caller has a foreign accent, but not always.  The caller may allege that the answering party owes the government a certain amount of money and that an arrest warrant will be issued unless the answering person pays that amount.  Then, the caller will “offer” to collect the money by a telephonic credit card transaction and give a different telephone number for the answering party to call back. (Previous SCAMs have asked the answering party to purchase a gift card from a local vendor and pass the card number to the caller.)

The “Tax SCAM”- Please know that our national, state or local governments do NOT collect back taxes by calling citizens and asking for credit card numbers or gift cards by phone.  If taxes are properly owed, notifications will be made by United States Mail.

“Jury SCAM”- A false allegation that a citizen did not report for jury duty. (Call the court house jury coordinator directly for verification).

Sympathy SCAM” A relative in police custody needing bail money, or in a medical facility needing money. 

The Onslow Beat received notice of one example where this type of scam occurred just a few weeks ago involving one Onslow County family. It’s also referred to as the “Grandparents Scam”.

Kristin Laney told The Onslow Beat just how this scam targeted her father and used their son as the “cause”.

 Four or five years ago, when my son (Joey) was in high school, my father got a phone call. My parents live in Wisconsin and we obviously live here in NC. My dad doesn’t have the best hearing, similar to many grandparents, and the first thing he heard was a voice “Grandpa?”. Of course, my dad immediately responded with “Joey, is that you?”. The next thing my dad heard was an adult male who told him that Joey was in trouble and he needed his help. He told my dad that Joey had been in a car with some other kids and they were pulled over. Drugs were found in the car, and while Joey wasn’t driving and didn’t own the car, he was still in trouble because no one would claim the drugs. Supposedly, Joey had been “arrested” and would need to go to court and money was needed to take care of the situation. As a note, my poor father is not very world-wise and fell for all of this hook, line and sinker. He never sent the money, but this individual called him repeatedly over several weeks telling my father that Joey was in court, the individual stated that he was able to pick Joey up from school for this because he was law enforcement, without my knowledge. The caller repeatedly told my dad that he couldn’t talk to anyone about it because the kids were underage and that he couldn’t call me about it.

My mother continually told my dad that it sounded fishy and that she knew how I was raising my son. He was never in a location when I didn’t know where he was. Ultimately, they finally called me one day to see what was going on and I was able to tell them that it was entirely fake. At that time, I knew Hans Miller and told my parents that I could get in contact with him to verify all the information. Before I was able to do that, my dad contacted their local county sheriff with whom he is friends. The sheriff told my dad it was a scam and that they usually picked on older people because they sometimes have difficulty hearing, will respond with the grandchild’s name, and will do anything to help their grandkids. I did send the info to the OCSO just so they could put it out there. We were lucky that my dad didn’t send the money they were requesting and it turned out fine but someone else might not be so lucky. -Kristin Laney


“Sweepstakes or Lottery Win SCAM”  Asking for a “handling fee.”  Fraud. This particular scam has targeted Instagram users as well as by phone. Read more here.

“Data Mining SCAM” where an unknown or unverified party asks for personal or bank account information.  “Phishing”

“Debt Consolidation Loan SCAM” offer that’s too good to be true.  No free money.

Sheriff Miller urges citizens, “Please protect yourself, your family, your property and even your friends & neighbors.  Please be careful to VERIFY before you trust. Help spread the word especially to the elderly, or those who do not have access to a computer. NO GOVERNMENT AGENCY WILL ASK ANYONE TO PAY BY TELEPHONE USING A GIFT CARD OR PREPAID DEBIT CARD!”

“Scam Likely” Series: Debt Collection Scam Vol. 1 No. 1

Vol. 1. No. 1 “Scam Likely” Series. Debt Collector Scams are on the rise amongst many other types of scamming methods. In this article, consumers are provided with tools to combat and prevent being victims of Debt Collection Scammers as well as how to file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission and the State’s Attorney General.

Debt Collection Scams

There are a number of digital scams by phone, text and even e-mail. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is warning consumers of these ongoing scams through their website and the media. Our Onslow County Sheriff Hans Miller just recently released a statement advising citizens to be aware of various scams and to not fall victim to them. Scammers are now using a variety of methods including debt collection, fake government officials, identity theft, phishing and pharming, fake prizes, gifts, sweepstakes, lottery scams and even buying online through Craigslist and the Facebook Marketplace.

Debt collection scams: This kind of scam is where consumers are receiving calls from threatening and harassing collectors who repeatedly attempt to collect a debt. Many consumer complaints that fall under this section are involving matters of credit and/or debit card fees, cash advances, credit repair companies and even alleging there has been unauthorized debit and credit card to use on your accounts.

How does the debt collection scam work?

Well, this scam is a straight shooter. The scammers call consumers posing as real collection agencies. Usually they have already accessed at least some of your personal information through a grand scheme of sorts with identity theft or even as far as obtaining your credit report.

How can scammers get your credit report? The NOLO Legal Online Encyclopedia says one way is, Job applicant credit reports. Which in reality, is kind of another scam in itself online. Generally, a scammer will pose as an employer or a potential employer Requesting to obtain our review your credit report as a part of the hiring process. From there the “employer” (fake) employer now proceeds to request that you use A very specific “free” credit report service through what is usually a website that appears legitimate and of course ends up costing you money. Then from that, the scammer can collect all of your personal information, steal your identity and also have your credit report.

The catch to debt collection scammers is, they will even use debts that you actually owe such as student loans, or even a credit card debt making the demand to pay immediately highly believable since it is something you identify with.

A few things to recognize to identify if you’re dealing with a debt collection scam:

  • They ask you to pay right away. Be suspicious when a debt collector who suddenly seems to want to use an unusual amount of pressure, maybe even threats and other tactics to implement fear to get you to pay “today” and right away.
  •  They may be threatening to hit you with a lawsuit, or all of your wages will be garnished, property seized, arrest you, deportation, telling your employer, and even threaten public shaming. Credit Karma says those are signs that you are dealing with a debt collections scam.
  • Will ask you to pay via wire transfer, such as Western Union or Money Gram. No legitimate debt collectors will ask you to do this. Do NOT sent money by wire!
  • The debt collector is seeking a payment on a debt for a loan that you do not recognize.
  • They call claims to be from the IRS and use an automated recording to tell you to call another number than what shows on your caller ID in order to settle your debt “immediately” to avoid penalty.
  • The person on the call refuses to give you a mailing address or a phone number.
  •  The caller asks you personal financial or sensitive information such as to verify your Social Security number, birthday, as well as your address. In some calls they may even mention things like names of relatives, don’t fall for it. These things are easily accessible online through public databases such as WhitePages. A legitimate debt collector would already know all the details.
  • The caller may or may not use profanity. If the caller does use profanity, that is most likely a fake call. No matter how aggressive legitimate collectors may be, the FDCPA limits what debt collectors can do when they contact debtors.
  • They call you before 8 a.m. and/or after 9 p.m.

What to do if you suspect a call is from a fake debt collector?

  • Ask the “debt collector for his or her first and last name, what company they are calling from, a street address (with city and state) for that company, and a telephone number with an extension if applicable to call them back directly.
  • Consumers should tell the caller that you refuse to further discuss and debt until receiving a valid written notice. The FTC says these written notices MUST include the exact amount of debt, the name of the creditor you are in debt to, and a statement of your rights under the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
  • If the person on the line refuses to give you ALL of the aforementioned information, HANG UP! Do NOT pay them any money at all. Paying a fraudulent debt collector will only cost you more money, you’ll still owe the debt and the scammer will likely attempt another scam on you because you were a success.
  • Stop talking to the caller! If able to obtain the caller’s address, the FTC says write a letter demanding the caller stop contacting you, make a copy and keep it in your personal files. Doing this, by law, legitimate debt collectors must stop calling you once you ask them to in writing.

*The NCAG Josh Stein says this letter will not erase the debt and the legitimate creditors can still take legal action against you for the debt owed.

  • Do not give the caller any personal, sensitive or financial information. NEVER give nor confirm any personal information such as date of birth, social security number, bank account information, credit/debit card numbers, unless you are 100% certain who you are dealing with. “When in doubt, count it out.” Giving personally identifiable information puts consumers at risk of becoming victims of charges to credit cards, opening new card accounts, checking/savings accounts, writing “bad checks” even electronically, or taking out loans in your name.
  • Contact your creditor. Call the original creditor that the agency says they are calling on behalf of, if it is truly an attempt on behalf of the company you owe, they can verify. If it is not, you can make them aware of the call and details.
  • File a complaint report with the FTC and the state Attorney General’s office as well. A lot of states have individual sets of laws in addition to federal laws. Your states Attorney General’s office can assist in providing information on your rights per your states laws.

NC Residents can contact the NC Attorney General, Josh Steins Office toll-free at 1-877-5-NO-SCAM (1-877-566-7226) or online here.

Know your rights and know the boundaries of debt collectors by familiarizing with the FDCPA

A video from the FTC on debt collection scams:

If you feel you may have been a victim of identity theft, here are more information and options through the FTC.

To track scams through complaints with the Better Business Bureau’s tracker in your area, you can do so online here.

To file a formal complaint with the FTC, you can call the FTC’s Consumer Response Center at 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357) or online here.

Sheriff Hans Miller warns citizens of phone and internet scams

Onslow Co. Sheriff Hans Miller warns citizens with urgency to be aware of phishing, spoofing, rebate, lottery scams and more.

Onslow County Sheriff Hans Miller issued a statement Friday afternoon about the current dangers of scams that are being used to victimize adult citizens of all ages.
“Modern technology is here to stay. It helps us do many things, but it can and has also been abused by individuals with criminal intent.”, said Sheriff Miller.

The goal of Miller’s Statement is with hopes of protecting citizens from scam artist and cons. Miller stated, “I feel that it is necessary to inform our citizens of certain telephone or Internet and email scams.”

Sheriff Miller listed a few vital reminders of things citizens are urged to be aware of:

• The Social Security Administration does not advertise benefits on social media. The SSA does not use social media or telephone to inform that their account numbers are “frozen.” The SSA does not ask people for money by phone or social media.
• The Internal Revenue Service will never threaten citizens or ask for tax money or fines by telephone or social media.
• Neither the court system or the sheriff of any county issues warning letters or threats about any jury issues, or threats of any arrests by internet, email or by telephone. Neither the court system nor sheriffs will ask for money to take care of “fines.”

“When in doubt, ask the professionals, file a report.” said Sheriff Miller.
The sheriff urges citizens to please not get “phished”. Restrain from anyone encouraging you to buy gift cards, send any money for rebate winnings or any money transactions to people that you do not know or have a trusting relationship.

Sheriff Miller strongly encourages all citizens to understand that this is not how the government works. Additionally, Miller says, “PLEASE do not ever give your Social Security number or any other personal information to someone that you do not know and trust.”

The Onslow Beat will go more in depth of these scams that are victimizing many across the country. Stay tuned for a short series on them to be aware and information to protect yourself from falling victim.

Coming soon in a 3-part series: Phone Scams- Spoofing, Phishing and Military Romance Scams.