Investigators said 65-year-old Eugene Cameron was watching a friend's house when it happened.
Cameron was found under a carport with severe lacerations on his arm and chest. His clothes were shredded and bloody.
Person County animal control seized a pitbull named DMX from Antonio Ford, who lives in the house next door.
Ford wasn't home when ABC11 stopped by, but friends said Ford always kept the dog locked up or on a leash. They said the animal was in his cage Saturday.
The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Chapel Hill was expected to perform an autopsy to determine how Cameron died. It was also expected to compare hair samples and other evidence to samples taken from Ford's dog.
Investigators say if they match, Ford could face charges, and the dog would likely be put down.