Prosecutors don’t believe Dwight Anthony Blount knew the 72-year-old man he is accused of killing over the weekend, Wake County Assistant District Attorney Howard Cummings said.
Blount, 53, of 870 Buckingham Court in Cary, is charged with one count of first-degree murder. He’s accused of killing Luciano Mariano Andia of Wellington Ridge Loop in Cary, who was found dead in his car just before 7 a.m. Saturday outside a shopping center at High House Road and N.C. 55.
Andia worked at the Dollar Tree in the shopping center and also worked with the American Sexual Health Association in Research Triangle Park.
“It appears to be a robbery,” Cummings said Monday afternoon.
A 911 caller found Andia inside a Toyota Corolla with holes in the windows.
“He is laying out here in his car dead with his trunk open and some holes through the window,” the woman caller, whose name was not released, told the 911 dispatcher.
While Cary police arrested Blount relatively quickly – shortly after 11 p.m. on Sunday at his home – they have declined to provide details of the investigation, referring questions to the Wake County District Attorney’s Office. Cummings declined to provide additional details because he said the investigation is ongoing.
It is the second time Blount has been accused of murder.
Blount served almost 12 years in prison for second-degree murder when he lived in Durham in 1992. He was convicted in 1994 of bludgeoning a neighbor to death near his apartment on Fargo Street in March 1992 and was paroled from prison in 2005, state records show.
Andia’s neighbors struggled Monday to understand the death.
Natalia Semushkina, who lives next to Andia’s family, described him as a kind and gentle man who moved from Venezuela to escape violence. She said Andia lived with his wife and often left his condo early in the mornings to take his young granddaughter to school.
“He does not have a fancy car. He was not a rich guy. He just wanted to support his family, so I wonder why it’s happened,” Semushkina said. “It’s terrible.”
On holidays, Andia would sometimes bring Semushkina dishes that his wife had made, she said.
“I’ve enjoyed living next to (them) because they’re such a nice family,” Semushkina said.
Semushkina said her last interaction with Andia reflected the type of man he was.
About a week ago, she saw him hobbling through their condo parking lot and asked what was wrong. Andia said his back was hurting him, Semushkina said, and she recommended he see a doctor.
“He said ‘No, I need to take care of my family,’” she recalled.
Friends on Monday set up an online fundraising campaign at www.gofundme.com/luciano to help Andia’s family. Zoltan Borsodi, who created the page, called Andia a “dear colleague” and said the family needs help with funeral costs.
“He was the nicest guy,” Borsodi said. “He was always smiling, always happy.”
Borsodi said he worked with Andia at the American Sexual Health Association, where he saw Andia almost every weekday afternoon for several hours.
“This is something that we probably cannot ever process in our life,” he said. “It doesn’t make any sense.”
Andia’s body was transported to the State Medical Examiner’s Office for an autopsy, police said.
The woman who called 911 told the dispatcher that Andia appeared to have been shot in the area between his head and chest, and there was an adjacent Ford Explorer that also had holes in the windows.
This is Cary’s first homicide of the year, according to the town. The last homicide was in August 2014.
Ron Gallagher contributed to this story.