Divers search pond for murder weapon as suspect taken to court u - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Divers search pond for murder weapon as suspect taken to court under heavy security

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Earl Franklin Moore, Jr. Earl Franklin Moore, Jr.
CALDWELL COUNTY, NC (WBTV) -

Divers and investigators are out at a Caldwell County pond searching for a murder weapon as a suspect was taken to court under heavy security for a murder last week.

Earl Franklin Moore, Junior was transported to court on Monday morning under heavy security from the Caldwell County Sheriff's Office.

Moore, who is accused of murdering and "cutting up" Raoul Dula last week, was wearing a bullet proof vest as he was escorted to court.

Dula's family members say they were surprised by the amount of security surrounding Moore.

"We wasn't gonna  kill him ," said the victim's mother Katy Dula. "We need more information from him."

Still, Dula said she couldn't help but think about what she would like to do to the suspect in this case.

"If I coulda got my hands around him, I coulda strangled him," she said.  

As it was, the half a dozen family members sat quietly in the courtroom and stared at Moore as the judge gave him a court appointed attorney and set a probable cause hearing date of July 15th.

Meanwhile, divers and investigators spent Monday morning searching a pond in Granite Falls for the murder weapon.

Investigators say they were searching Mill Pond in an effort to find the weapon that killed Raoul Dula.

Dula's body was found in the front yard of a home on Flintstone Court, just outside of Hudson, on Thursday.

First responder Chris Blevins was among those responding to what they thought was a medical call just after six o'clock Thursday morning. They found Dula, already dead, and say he appeared to have been cut up badly.

"I would put it at the top of my list as one of the worst ones I've ever seen," said Blevins.

Investigators haven't released many details, saying only that a neighbor found Dula while walking Thursday morning. One man, who did not want to be identified, lives just 150 yards from the scene.

"I didn't hear anything overnight," he told reporters as he drove out of the neighborhood. "Nothing like this has ever happened here," he said.

Moore was questioned and then later arrested and charged on Friday.

According to a press release from the Caldwell County Sheriff's Office, Moore was placed in the Caldwell County Detention Center with no bond pending his first appearance in court.

Sheriff Jones stated "I'm proud of my deputies and investigators who have worked hard to make an arrest in the heinous crime.  Our hearts go out to the family and friends of the victim."

"We really don't know a whole lot just yet," the sheriff last week. He said a lot of work is ahead for SBI investigators and his detectives.  "This one is going to take a while."

Katy Dula said she just hopes to find out why her son was killed.

"I won't stop until I have all the answers I want," Dula said.

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