Warrants: Family falsely reported man missing after he was hit, killed by car in Cleveland Co.

·2 min read

Investigators are now asking more questions about the grandson and daughter of an 84-year-old man killed in Cleveland County.

Carroll Strange was hit by a car near the town of Earl on July 6, but his family didn’t report him missing until two days later, authorities said.

Reporter Ken Lemon uncovered search warrants that have more information about the case. From the warrants, Lemon learned deputies are searching the phones of Strange’s family members.

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The North Carolina State Highway Patrol says Strange, who had dementia, stepped out onto Highway 198 when he was hit and killed. Troopers said he had no identification on him and they had no idea who he was, so they made a public plea for help.

According to search warrants, Strange was in the care of his daughter and grandson. Two days after the crash, they reported him missing.

Deputies say the grandson, Roger Pearson, told them on July 8 Strange went to walk to the creek in the backyard. Pearson said he realized his grandfather was gone four hours later and reported him missing. But by then, Strange had been dead almost for 48 hours -- however, investigators didn’t know that.

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There was a small search and the next morning, several people -- including family -- went to look for Strange.

That’s when deputies realized he had been killed on Highway 198.

Both his daughter, Tina Brown, and grandson, Roger Pearson, are charged with neglect. Brown is also charged with obstruction of justice.

Detectives say they noticed Pearson spent a lot of time on his cell phone during the search, so investigators seized Pearson’s and Brown’s phones saying they may provide critical information.

They are searching everything on their phones and in the cloud, and say there could be more charges in the case.

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