Man found dead on River Road identified

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Rowan County Sheriff’s officials have confirmed the identity of a man found dead at his River Road home as 87-year-old J.D. Furr.
Furr’s daughter, Sandra Steen, 62, received significant injuries and has since been transferred to another hospital’s intensive care unit.
The two were found outside the home, located in the 6200 block of River Road, just off Stokes Ferry Road, by a relative who went by the house this morning about 8:15 a.m. The man was found near the back of the house and his daughter was lying in the driveway.
Officials said Steen was taken to Stanly Memorial Hospital in Albemarle, but has been transferred via helicopter to an unnamed hospital in this region. The extent of her injuries is unknown. Officials report it was an assault and they are searching for suspects. Investigators say there was an apparent robbery, but have not said what items were taken from the property. It is not known if the incident occurred sometime overnight or early this morning.
There is no description of a suspect, and officers are asking neighbors or anyone who was in the vicinity for information that might help the investigation. Bloodhounds were used to search around the home, including surrounding wooded areas.
The relative said everything was fine last night at 7:30. A relative went to the home this morning to help the homeowner with some work. The home is in a remote area, where neighbors are a distance away. Deputies want to know about anything seen or heard in the area.
Kevin Coughenour, a newspaper carrier, was making a delivery just after 10:30 a.m. when he stumbled upon investigators at the crime scene. Coughenour said he’s known the victim for at least a decade and said the was a nice, polite man. “I just can’t believe somebody would do something to this guy because he’s the nicest man you’d ever meet. He’s very nice and I’m shocked,” Coughenour said.
He said one regular stops, the victim would meet him at the mailbox and stop to talk. The man sometimes gave Coughenour produce and eggs.
“I just can’t believe this happened,” he said.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office at 704-216-8700.