Arrest Made in Bullock Murder
Moore County Sheriff's officials have charged a 32-year-old Eagle Springs man in connection with the June slaying of Southern Pines resident Lance Bullock.
Authorities say Ricky Joe Harvel, of 175 Eagle Branch Road, is in the Moore County Detention Center in Carthage. An initial court date is scheduled for Aug. 9.
Harvel is charged with one count of murder and two counts of possession of a firearm by a felon. The two firearms charges carry a $50,000 bond, but there is no bond on the murder charge.
The FBI and Southern Pines Police assisted in the investigation.
Authorities said the two men knew each other but declined to specify a motive, citing the ongoing investigation.
“They were acquaintances and friends prior to the homicide,” said Lt. Bill Mackey of the Moore County Sheriff’s office.
Bullock’s mother, Donna Ford, said hearing the news of an arrest in her son’s death was a big relief.
“It doesn’t bring Lance back, but to know this man will be held accountable for his actions and he cannot harm anybody else is a big relief,” she said.
Sheriff’s deputies found Bullock’s body on June 26 in a remote quarry in the Glendon area of Moore County. Three days later, authorities confirmed Bullock, 34, had died of gunshot wounds.
Bullock’s family reported him missing on June 18 after he failed to show up for a family dinner to celebrate Father’s Day.
Southern Pines police said that Bullock was last reportedly seen June 13.
Prior to finding Bullock, authorities located his black Honda two-door coupe near Deep River Park in Sanford, just inside the Lee County line. The location of the vehicle was about five miles from where the body was found, authorities said.
Harvel had been in the Moore County jail since June 28 on weapons, drugs and weapons charges. He also had an outstanding warrant from Indiana for violation of probation. Mackey said he had been charged with attempted second-degree murder there, but had pleaded to a charge of aggravated assault.
Indiana officials have said they will not pursue extradition proceedings for Harvel, who has lived in Moore County for the more than a decade, Mackey said.
Ford praised the work of the authorities investigating the case and said the charges are just another step on a difficult journey.
“I wouldn’t call this closure,” she said. “It’s a journey that was put before me. I don’t know why but I have to take it. It will be one I have to travel the rest of my life, but this news does put me a little further down the path.”
Contact Tom Embrey at (910) 693-2484 or email@example.com.
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