State roundup: Man trying to steal catalytic converter fatally crushed by car

Published 11:57 pm Thursday, January 27, 2022

Associated Press

RALEIGH — A North Carolina man trying to steal a catalytic converter from a disabled car was killed when the jack he used to get under the vehicle failed and pinned him underneath, a sheriff’s office said.

The Wake County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release on Wednesday that deputies responding to a call on Monday morning found the body of a man under a car. The body was discovered by a tow truck driver who had been dispatched to that location to tow the disabled Toyota Camry, the sheriff’s office said.

The victim was identified as Joshua Larry Diehl, 50. Investigators said Diehl was trying to steal the catalytic converter when the jack he used failed. It’s not known how long Diehl was under the car before his body was discovered.

The sheriff’s office said the owner of the car was coming home from work when she discovered she had a flat tire and no way to replace it. She called a friend to pick her up and was arranging to have the car towed the next morning. Investigators believe that once the car’s owner was picked up, Diehl discovered the disabled vehicle and began trying to steal the converter.

Mother, child missing for 5 years found safe

FAYETTEVILLE — A mother and child missing for more than five years have been found safe in North Carolina, the U.S. Marshals Service said.

Fayetteville police said Miracle Smith was 1 year old when she and her mother, Amber Renaye Weber, disappeared in December 2016, a news release said. Officers searched for clues about the disappearance and eventually turned to the U.S. Marshals Service for help.

On Feb. 26, 2021, Fayetteville police asked the marshals service to help them find the missing child and mother who they said were victims of previous physical abuse, according to a news release.

Investigators determined that the missing child and mother were located in Bunnlevel, about 35 miles southwest of Raleigh. They were believed to be associated with a man who was ultimately charged by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. The man was taken into custody without incident.

Marshals working with the ATF and Harnett County Sheriff’s Office found and recovered the missing child at a residence in Bunnlevel Jan. 25 and turned the child and her sibling over to the Harnett County Department of Social Services to provide victim assistance.

Man charged in shooting death of teen

KINSTON — A North Carolina man has been charged in the fatal shooting of a 14-year-old during an incident that also wounded two others.

Kinston police charged Malik Dyshaun Bryant, 24, with an open count of murder and two counts of attempted first-degree murder, news outlets reported. Bryant is being held in the Lenoir County Detention Center without bond. It’s not known if Bryant has an attorney.

Police responded to a call at approximately 8:45 p.m. on Wednesday and found three shooting victims. The other victims were identified as a 13-year-old male and a 17-year-old male. Both were taken to a local hospital and were listed in critical condition.