Tuscan A. Carter, 26, is charged with second-degree murder. Bond was set at $250,000.
Detectives say Carter beat 42-year-old James Christopher Diggs to death. They're asking anyone with information on Diggs' next of kin to call (910) 433-1421.
Police say officers discovered Diggs' body in the area of Highway 301 and Grove Street. It was in a ditch on a service road near the Sandpiper Seafood Restaurant.
Initially, police thought he was the victim of a hit-and-run, but later realized he was attacked.