2 sought in death of Raeford hotel manager

RAEFORD, N.C. (WTVD) -- Deputies with the Hoke County Sheriff's Office are seeking a man and his girlfriend in connection with a murder of a hotel manager near Raeford. They believe the pair could be headed for Oregon.

Mohammadzakir Sheikh, 58, was found dead in a room Monday at the Raeford Inn motel on U.S. Highway 401. His family said he had been missing since Friday.

At first, the sheriff's office thought Sheikh could have died from natural causes. However, there were signs of a struggle in the room, and it was later revealed he died of strangulation.

Deputies said the room Sheikh died in was rented by Tyler Mark Pierce and his girlfriend Samantha Shilts, both are 21. They had left the area but left personal belongings in the room.

Sheikh's 2003 Dodge Stratus was also missing. Deputies ran the tag and found the victim's car had been stopped by an officer in Ohio and Pierce and Shilts were in the vehicle. They both told the officer they had purchased the vehicle and were on the way to Oregon. Shilts is from Medford, Oregon.

Warrants have been issued charging the pair with robbery and first-degree murder.

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