Family remembers missing man found dead

Weston Vandemerwe
August 14, 2013 8:14:08 PM PDT
Police say the body of a missing man was found along Interstate 40 westbound Tuesday afternoon.

Weston Vandemerwe, 23, had been reported missing Sunday afternoon. His death is now being investigated as a hit-and-run collision.

Police say a DOT work crews found his body just over a guard rail at the on-ramp to I-40 from Hammond Road Tuesday afternoon. Traffic in the area was backed up for miles as officers put up crime scene tape along the shoulder of the interstate and detectives pored over the area.

Vandemerwe's family made a public plea Monday after the East Carolina University graduate went missing over the weekend.

He was last seen around 1:30 a.m. Saturday in The Oxford Bar in Raleigh after arguing with his girlfriend, who hailed a cab. Family members believe Vandemerwe left The Oxford and was walking home to Apex when he disappeared. They say he had walked home at least once before.

Students from Shaw University said they saw Vandemerwe near the Raleigh Convention Center around 2 a.m. Saturday. They said he appeared drunk, was laying in the bushes, and refused help.

From there, he somehow made his way toward the interstate where police say he was hit by a car.

His brothers said Vandemerwe was a fun loving guy.

"Definitely like a father figure to me in my life," said the victim's brother, Gavin Vandemerwe. "I looked up to him."

"Always there for everyone, was a father figure for me and Gavin," said the victim's brother, Colin Vandemerwe.

Instead of dwelling on how Weston died, his brothers are choosing to remember how he lived.

"Someone who inspired me to work hard every day," said Gavin. "Someone I loved."

Family members said funeral services for Vandemerwe will be held Friday at the Calvary Chapel in Apex at 10:30 a.m.

Police confirm that a toxicology report is pending. Meanwhile, there is still no suspect in the hit and run.

Anyone with information that might assist the investigation of the case should call Raleigh CrimeStoppers at (919) 834-HELP or visit www.raleighcrimestoppers.org for text and email reporting options.

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