Teen charged in Fayetteville man's death
FAYETTEVILLE (WTVD) -- A Fayetteville teenager is facing robbery and murder charges in connection with the death of 67-year-old Wolgang Joppich.
Police arrested 18-year-old Terrane Dukes Wednesday evening.
Joppich's body was discovered Sunday evening on Tally-Ho Drive. Police said he had been shot once in the chest.
Detectives later found Joppich's wallet and other personal items in a trash bin about half a mile from where his body was located.
The Fayetteville Police Department said tips from the public and surveillance video from Krispy Kreme helped lead to Dukes' arrest. They also said they did not believe Dukes' acted alone.
Joppich, a Vietnam War veteran originally from Germany, was known for his love of wild cats in the Fayetteville area. He also sang in the choir at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Fayetteville.
Fayetteville police said during a press conference Thursday morning that people in the community thought Joppich had a lot of money, and he may have been targeted because of his age.
Detectives said they knew of Joppich, but were unaware that he was homeless until his death. They said they thought he was a volunteer at the Fayetteville Area Operation Inasmuch. Operation Inasmuch is a national nonprofit that involves local church congregations helping the needy in their communities, according to their website.
"People are coming out of the woodwork saying, 'I knew Wolfgang, I knew him for 30 years, I knew him, he did this, he did that' and we're going, 'Wow, this ordinary life made a difference in the community,' just this little homeless man," said Sue Byrd with Operation Inasmuch in Fayetteville.
A memorial service for Joppich is slated to be held sometime next week.
Meanwhile, Dukes has been booked at the Cumberland County jail under no bond.
"We pray for him," Byrd said. "We forgive him, because Wolfgang would."
An investigation is ongoing at this time. Anyone with information about Joppich death is asked to contact homicide detectives with the Fayetteville Police Department at (910) 433-1856 or CrimeStoppers (910) 483-TIPS (8477).
cumberland county, local/state
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