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North Carolina Man Accused of Murder After Elderly Roommate Found Buried in Backyard: Sheriff

North Carolina Man Accused of Murder After Roommate Found Buried in Yard
Source: New Hanover County Sheriff's Office; Unsplash

Elvin Baca accused of killing his elderly roommate and then burying him in the backyard.

Apr. 3 2024, Published 2:08 p.m. ET

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A North Carolina man is in custody after law enforcement officials said he allegedly killed his elderly roommate and then buried his remains in the backyard of their home.

On March 27, a friend of 69-year-old Lawrence Grabka reported him missing, according to the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office.

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The friend said Grabka was not picking up his phone, and when she went to his home, the door was unlocked, according to court documents obtained by WECT-TV.

The friend also told authorities she found some of Grabka’s belongings inside the residence, but he was not there, which she found unusual since she often drove him places.

Deputies responded to the residence in Wilmington to conduct a welfare check on Grabka, and they met with his roommate, 34-year-old Elvin Baca.

Law enforcement officials said detectives searched the home and “unearthed the tragic reality of a homicide.”

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Authorities said the detectives discovered Grabka’s remains in a shallow grave in the backyard. They did not share further details, including how the victim died.

Baca was identified as the primary suspect and was arrested, officials said. He was charged with first-degree murder, and failure to report a death.


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Baca was booked into the New Hanover County Detention Facility, where he was being held without bond.

"The circumstances surrounding this case are deeply concerning, and our thoughts are with the victim's loved ones during this difficult time; our priority remains seeking justice for the victim," New Hanover County Sheriff Ed McMahon said.


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