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Raleigh police say 85-year-old Korean War veteran found dead was killed

Police said Monday that an elderly man found dead on Evers Drive this month was killed.

The victim has been identified as Benjamin Franklin Merritt, 85, and the incident is being investigated as a homicide, according to a Raleigh Police Department news release.

Merritt was a Korean War veteran and mentored at-risk kids during his career, according to his obituary, reported ABC11, The News & Observer’s media partner.

“It is not believed to have been a random act,” the Police Department news release said.

Police have not released a cause of death or any other details.

Officers were dispatched to the 2200 block of Evers Drive on June 13 for a check on the welfare call. They found a man who was pronounced dead by emergency medical personnel.

Anyone with information is asked to call Raleigh CrimeStoppers at (919) 834-HELP or go to raleighcrimestoppers.org for text and email reporting options. CrimeStoppers pays cash rewards for anonymous tips that help solve cases.

As of June 11, there had been 13 homicides in Raleigh this year, police said at the time.

Last year at that time there were 10, and the total number of homicides for 2018 was 16.

This story was corrected at 7:46 p.m. July 30, 2019, to reflect Merritt’s age.

Mark Schultz is the deputy metro editor for The News & Observer and The Herald-Sun. He has been an editor, reporter and photographer in North Carolina for 30 years.
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