Just after 9 p.m. Wednesday, officers were called to the Inn-Keeper Hotel on Skibo Road, across from Cross Creek Mall, about a person lying on the ground.
When they arrived, they found 22-year-old Chad Patrick Dellit of Fulton, Ill lying in a grassy area between the hotel and a Christian book store, who had been shot in the head. He was declared dead at the scene.
A clerk at the hotel found the soldier's body.
"I seen a guy laying out there and I seen blood from his head," Marisela Highsmith said.
A suspect was seen running away behind the hotel, toward a nearby shopping center area.
"The officer responded to the area at 1706 Skibo Road where they saw the suspect running towards ... behind the shopping complex ... I believe the Toys R Us," Fayetteville Police Spokesman Gavin MacRoberts said. "They canvassed the area. They didn't locate the suspect described in the 911 call."
Police are reviewing video from several security cameras that are located on the side of the hotel where the murder occurred.
The investigation is ongoing. Police are asking anyone with information to give them a call.
Dellit was with the 20th Engineer Brigade - a combat brigade assigned to the XVIII Airborne Corps.
He enlisted in the Army in September 2008 to be a geospatial engineer. His awards and decorations include the National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and Army Service Medal.