CHINA GROVE, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — A Rowan County family is upset after their loved one’s body was mistaken for a Halloween decoration and was left sitting for days. They now want to know how he died, and why it wasn’t reported to police sooner.
Robert Owens’ body was found in China Grove. The family discovered a lawncare worker mowed around his near-naked body, thinking it was a prop. A day later, someone else made the gruesome discovery.
“Don’t know how you can do that,” said Owens’ sister, Haley Shue. “Mow right beside someone and assume that they’re Halloween decorations at a house no one lives at.”
The last time the family saw Owens was October 1, a Sunday. It wasn’t until a week later that police found him down a long driveway off of Shue Road in China Grove. He had little clothing on and was face down in the grass outside a home that, family says, has been empty for quite some time.
“My grandmother has lived off of Shue Road for 40+ years,” Shue said, “and he’s never been to this house. He’s never known of this house this far off the road. He’s never been back here. He’s never been known to come here.”
Police told his sister, Haley, and mother, Brenda, that the 34-year-old hadn’t been shot. They had to gather the rest from a construction worker on the property.
“Construction worker told us that he had cuts and scrapes on his arms like defensive wounds, his words,” Shue said.
Family members admit Owens has been known to do drugs. They say, however, that he died, it doesn’t yet explain how he ended up here. Police don’t suspect foul play, but they’re still investigating his death. In the meantime, his family is still in shock that the man they all love is now gone forever.
“His nieces and nephews love him, and he had just gotten my son a jacket, and he didn’t even have the chance to give it to him,” Shue said through tears. “We want answers.”
The China Grove Police Chief tells Queen City News they’re expecting to get more information this week; they are still waiting for the autopsy to come back. Owens’ family says his death has left them with unexpected expenses, and they’re currently trying to raise money for his funeral.