Robert Ortiz III, 49, taken into custody by Onslow County Sheriff’s Office deputies on Monday, Sept. 16, faces an open count of murder following what appears to be a stabbing death near Swansboro.

According to a press release from the sheriff, Onslow County Emergency 911 received a call about a possible murder at 4:50 p.m. Monday at 112 June Holland Drive near Swansboro.

When Onslow County deputies and officers with the Swansboro Police Department responded, they found Ortiz in the front yard of the residence. Ortiz lives at 112 June Holland Drive. As deputies and officers secured the area, they found the victim, later identified as 61-year-old Kerry Frank Howard of Lot 9 Lilli Circle, inside the residence.

Lilli Circle is in the mobile home park near June Holland Drive, according to the press release.

“Death appeared to be the resltul of stab wounds, but the official cause of death is pending an autopsy which will be performed Wednesday,” the release states.

As deputies investigated further it was determined that Ortiz had an outstanding warrant for his arrest for an unrelated assault charge. Ortiz was arrested on that charge.

Upon completion of the initial investigation, Ortiz was charged with one open count of murder and is currently in the Onslow County Sheriff’s Detention Center without benefit of bond.

“The motive for the murder is still under investigation and additional information will be released as it becomes available,” the release states.

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