Body buried in field identified

David Eugene Gates (Image courtesy Harnett County Sheriff's Office)

July 22, 2010 5:52:54 AM PDT
Harnett County Sheriff Larry Rollins has released the identity of a man found buried in a Lillington field.

Rollins said the investigation began on July 16 when deputies got a call about a suspicious person in the area of Black Lane who told people in the area that a friend had been shot on Tim Currin Road.

At the time, deputies were unable to find any evidence of a shooting, but Rollins said detectives worked the case over several days and arrested 42-year-old David Eugene Gates of 291 J.M. Wallace Drive, Lillington after they say he admitted to shooting a person and burying the body.

The body was sent to the North Carolina Medical Examiner's Office in Chapel Hill for an autopsy and positive identification.

Thursday, Rollins identified the dead man as 24-year-old Christopher Lee Freelove of Lillington.

Gates was being held at the Harnett County Detention Center with no bond.

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