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Halifax County deputies searching for man they believe started fire to hide murder

Published: Jan. 7, 2022 at 6:16 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 7, 2022 at 6:18 PM EST
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HALIFAX COUNTY, N.C. (WITN) - Halifax County deputies are searching for a man they believe started a fire in order to hide a murder.

Deputies say they have secured a warrant for 29-year-old Chaundler Lashley, of New York, for the murder of 58-year-old Willie Clements, of Garysburg.

They say Lashley has ties to Halifax County from his childhood as well as ties to New York and Florida. At this time, his direction of travel is unknown.

We’re told Chaundler Lashley may also go by the name Chaundler Burch.

The Halifax County Sheriff’s Office began to investigate once fire crews told them they found a dead man inside a home that was originally left in smoke because a pot had been left on the stovetop.

Anyone with information regarding this case is asked to call the Halifax County Sheriff’s Office at 252-583-8201 or Halifax County Crimestoppers at 252-583-4444.

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Halifax County deputies say they believe a fire was started at a home in order to hide a shooting death.

The Halifax County Sheriff’s Office says deputies arrived at a home on Nations Road, outside of Roanoke Rapids, on Wednesday around 5:50 p.m. to help the Rheasville Volunteer Fire Department with a suspicious fire.

Deputies say firefighters told them a pot had been left on the stove and overheated, which caused heavy smoke. Once the smoke cleared, the firefighters found a dead man, 58-year-old Willie Clements, of Garysburg, inside the home.

Deputies say their detectives realized Clements was killed from an apparent gunshot wound, and their early belief was that the pot left on the stovetop was done intentionally to hide his death.

Anyone with information regarding this case is asked to call the Halifax County Sheriff’s Office at 252-583-8201 or Halifax County Crimestoppers at 252-583-4444.

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