Investigators say someone badly bruised 70-year-old Carter Northington, commonly known as "the can man" -- and then, left him to die. The woman who made the 911 call did not want to be identified, but was extremely shaken up Tuesday night.
She says her dog alerted her to an injured man lying in front of a vacant house behind her home. He later died. Now, investigators are searching for a killer.
It's a murder investigation that has the whole neighborhood talking.
"My husband and I both were floored, we were floored," said Carrie Johnson-Pegram.
She lives across the street from where authorities found the victim.
"We saw detectives over there," Johnson-Pegram said.
Investigators got the call Monday night - 70-year-old Carter Northington was lying unconscious in a yard on the 23,000 block of Cox Road.
"He had blunt force trauma to his head," said Major William Knott.
Northington died Tuesday at VCU Medical Center.
"Did he have any identification on him? Any signs that he may have been robbed?" we asked.
"We're not releasing at this point," Knott replied adding parts of the investigation are confidential, but that help is needed identifying who may have been responsible for his death.
Neighbors say Northington would frequently walk to a nearby shopping plaza. They say what makes this so disturbing is that he never seemed to bother anyone.
"Just was going about his business…pushing a cart, picking up cans," said Johnson-Pegram.
Investigators say he would walk from the store back to his Grant Road home -where he lived alone. Authorities want to know how he ended up in a yard outside of the area he'd normally walk, and miles away from his home.
"To be that far down Cox Road was out of the ordinary…a lot of unanswered questions at this point," Knott added.
A neighbor who lives two homes down from the 70-year-old described Northington, saying "he wouldn't hurt a flea."
If you have information that could help investigators, call Crime Solvers at 804-861-1212.
Donations to fund a reward for information leading to an arrest can be made at any branch of the Bank of Southside Virginia.
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