Music teacher in Harnett County found dead was homicide victim, sheriff says

SPRING LAKE, N.C. (WTVD) -- Authorities said Tuesday that the death of a music teacher found dead in his front yard is being investigated as a homicide.

Community members in Harnett County are mourning the loss of Marcus DeShawn Allen, 28.

Allen was found lying in his front yard on West Governor Brandon Street in Spring Lake on Sunday just after 1 p.m.

He was a music teacher at Cornerstone Christian Academy in Fayetteville.

The school posted a message on its Facebook page:

"Cornerstone Christian Academy is mourning the loss of our music teacher, Mr. Marcus Allen. Mr. Allen was loved by his students and Mr. Allen loved our God. He led many of us to grow in passion for expressing our faith through song. He will be sorely missed. Please pray for our faculty and students as they deal with this tragedy."

The Harnett County Sheriff's Office said deputies are investigating this case as a homicide. Sheriff Wayne Coats said "there was trauma" to Allen's body, but did not elaborate on the extent of those injuries.

The family is reeling from Allen's death.

"I don't see why anybody would hurt my baby," said Tarsha Purdie, Allen's mother.

Allen's cousin, Trent Holmes, said Allen loved God, his church community, family and the young people he taught.

"He was a firm believer of being a peacemaker," Holmes said.

Holmes said Allen loved kids and loved music.

"For this to happen to him is tragic," Holmes said "We have lost a true talent and a true gift on this planet."

Puride said her son was friendly and enjoyed making people laugh.

His family is pleading for anyone who might know something to contact authorities.

"Any information, call in and let us know anything," Holmes said. "That's the only way we can get the answers to those whys and those whats and whos."

If you have information about Allen's death, you can call the Harnett County Sheriff's Office tip line at (910) 893-0300.
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