News of Slaying Arrest Lights Up Facebook Locally
Facebook is frequently the site on which people post the most routine aspects of what they’re doing at work or out with friends.
But when the news broke Friday that police had made an arrest in the slaying of Lance Bullock, the social networking site lit up among those who knew the Southern Pines resident and wanted to see justice for the 34-year-old.
Details regarding the arrest of 32-year-old Eagle Springs resident Ricky Lee Harvel first appeared on The Pilot's Facebook page. Within moments, comments poured in, and updates were repeated and shared by others across Facebook.
By day’s end, more than 8,600 people had viewed the initial news of the arrest, 45 people had posted comments and 115 people had posted the updates on their own Facebook pages to let people know about how they felt about an arrest in Bullock's death.
“Best news I’ve heard all day,” posted Courtney Childress Skibitsky, just minutes after the news was posted.
Most comments carried plenty of emotional weight, and many could be categorized as those offering sympathy for the family and the deceased and or giving appreciation to the police for their work to bring charges.
A few even expressed anger toward the accused.
Christi Happnie Burns posted: “so thankful... RIP Lance. I pray this gives your family some closure.”
While many commentors expressed condolences for Bullock’s family, Laura Murray Thomas, offered prayers for Harvel’s family.
“I will now begin to pray for this young man’s family:( ,” She wrote. “How sad for his parents.”
On Friday afternoon, authorities charged Havel with murder and two counts of possession of a firearm by a felon in connection with the death of Bullock.
Authorities said little else about the case, other than the two men knew each other. They declined to specify a motive, citing the ongoing investigation.
Bullock was reported missing on June 19 after he failed to meet his family for dinner the the night before.
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.
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
The FBI and Southern Pines Police assisted in the investigation.
During the time that Bullock was missing, his family posted fliers around town and took to Facebook spreading the word about Bullock’s disappearance and asking anyone with information to go to authorities.
A Facebook page, Praying for Lance Bullock, was started after his reported disappearance. The site has more than 1,800 members and, hours after the announcement that Harvel had been charged, Bullock’s stepmother, Rhonda Brooks Bullock, took to it and posted her thoughts.
“Prayers are answered in God’s time and this morning was one of His times,” she wrote. “We are grateful to the members of the Moore County Sheriff’s Depart-ment for the dedication to Lance’s case. We are blessed so have so many people who have and will continue to pray for our family. We have closed another chapter and must wait to see what else is in store in the future. We ask for God’s strength and love to see us through.”
Contact Tom Embrey at (910) 693-2484 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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