CHINA GROVE, NC – A North Carolina family is searching for answers after a man’s body was initially mistaken for a fake training dummy, raising disturbing questions about the discovery.
The China Grove Police, located approximately 15 miles from Charlotte, began investigating the case on October 11 when they found the body of a deceased white male on the premises of an abandoned house. The man was later identified as 34-year-old Robert Owens, who had been missing since October 1, as reported by local outlet Queen City News.
According to a statement from the police shared, a landscaping worker who had been mowing the lawn noticed the body a day before authorities were notified. However, the worker initially believed it to be a fake training dummy frequently used by law enforcement agencies on the property over the years and did not report it.
Owens’ sister, Haley Shue, expressed her disbelief at the landscaping worker’s mistake, emphasizing that the property was uninhabited. When the body was finally discovered, Owens was found face down and wearing minimal clothing. He had no known association with the property, according to Shue.
The case is currently under investigation, with Police Chief Andrew Deal stating, “At this time there is no sign of foul play but the case is being investigated as suspicious.” Although Owens was not shot, according to information provided to the family by the police, early findings from an autopsy conducted on October 13 ruled out signs of assault or trauma to the body. The authorities are still awaiting the toxicology report to determine the exact cause of death.
Despite Owens’ history of drug use, his family remains perplexed about the circumstances leading to his death and how he ended up at the abandoned property.