RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Newly released search warrants reveal the final moments of Wake County deputy Ned Byrd’s life before he was fatally shot on August 11.
CBS 17 obtained several search warrants for murder suspects Alder Alfonso Marin-Sotelo, 26, and Arturo Marin-Sotelo, 29.
According to the search warrant, deputy Byrd was on his way to a Wake County Law Enforcement Training Center to conduct K9 training on the night of Aug. 11. Surveillance video from a Marathon gas station on Battle Bridge and Auburn Knightdale roads showed a pickup truck backing up against a fence at 11:03 p.m.
At 1:06 a.m. the next morning, Byrd was found deceased with multiple gunshot wounds—including one to the back of his head—outside of his parked patrol vehicle on the side of Battle Bridge Road in the grass. A 9 mm handgun was used in Byrd’s murder.
📲 Download the Queen City News app to stay updated on the go.
📧 Sign up for QC News email alerts to have breaking news sent to your inbox.
💻 Find today’s top stories on QCNews.com for Charlotte, NC, and all of the Carolinas.
A dash camera from Byrd’s vehicle showed him pulling up past the pickup truck and then stopping. He was then seen backing up in the road toward the suspect vehicle. At 11:07 p.m., Byrd angled his vehicle towards the suspect vehicle and exited to approach the pickup truck.
Approximately 13 seconds later at 11:08 p.m., “three rapid gun fire shots were heard with an additional three shots fired,” according to warrant documents. A minute and a half later at 11:09 p.m., the suspect vehicle was seen crossing in front of Byrd’s vehicle and turning onto Battle Bridge Road.
Deputy Byrd’s dash camera recorded the scene for two hours and five vehicles were seen passing the area during that time, the warrants detailed.
Cell Phone Data
One of the warrants said there was probable cause to search and seize both brothers’ cell phones and their data information from AT&T and Verizon. The warrant said that investigators were able to request cellular tower data for cell phone providers that were in the area the night of the murder.
After analyzing cell phone data, investigators found two suspect phone numbers that were present in the area of the crime scene at the time of the murder. The warrant revealed the devices were in communication with one another immediately after the crime.
On Aug. 14, investigators requested historical and phone records associated with the suspects’ phones. According to the search warrant, a 30-day review was conducted for both cell phones and showed that outside of two calls that occurred between the brothers on July 25, the only other communication took place between 4:45 p.m. on Aug. 11 and the afternoon of Aug. 12. The search warrant further revealed that within a 24-hour period, the phones were in contact over 40 times.
Further cell phone records also show Arturo’s cell phone moved between the crime scene vicinity and his residence in Raleigh.
On Aug. 16, surveillance units observed both suspects leaving the Wake County area. The warrant reveals that there was no cellular activity between the brothers 24 hours prior. However, surveillance video shows the brothers talking on and using a cellular device. This led investigators to believe the brothers obtained a new cell phone.
Law enforcement believed the unknown cell phone belonged to Alder. Ongoing cellular location data showed the cell phone was originally in Winston-Salem before travelling back to Raleigh Aug. 14. While the phone was travelling back to Raleigh, it was powered off.
On Aug. 16, a gold Cadillac Escalade driven by Alder was seen picking up a child and a woman at a residence in Garner. The vehicle then drove to Winston-Salem for inspection and a DMV location for a new license plate. The woman then drove the vehicle back to Winston-Salem.
The brothers were then seen getting into separate vehicles the same day and driving to two different gas stations. After getting gas, the brothers traveled to Interstate 40 towards western North Carolina. Law enforcement officers believed the two were fleeing the area to avoid being caught.
Officers later stopped the brothers for traffic stops regarding federal offenses in Morganton, North Carolina. According to the search warrant, Alder was driving the Cadillac and Arturo was driving the Chevrolet Tahoe. The brothers were later detained and questioned in Burke County. After being detained in Burke County, a search warrant was executed for both suspects’ cell phones.
On Aug. 16, investigators questioned the female and she consented to a search at a residence in Winston-Salem. While investigators were in route to the residence, they found Rolando Marin-Sotelo entering the residence. He was seen leaving the residence with what investigators believed to be boxes of ammunition.
Investigators conducted a traffic stop and found Rolando with marijuana, 9mm ammunition and $5,000. Rolando later revealed that on Aug. 16, that he would give Arturo $300 if he sold a Chevrolet Colorado. Images released by the Wake County Sheriff’s Office on Aug. 15 showed images of a Chevrolet Colorado.
The vehicle was sold by Alder to an acquaintance on Aug. 16.
There were several search warrants issued during different days for cell phone data and information. Investigators also conducted background searches of both suspects including personal information and social media accounts.
The search warrants were executed on different days: Aug. 12, Aug. 14, Aug. 15, Aug. 16 and Aug. 18.
Arturo told investigators on Aug. 16 that he and Alder rode together in a red Chevrolet Colorado truck to a field on Battle Bridge Road to hunt for deer. Investigators learned Arturo got out of the truck and walked through filed with an AK-47 rifle while Alder parked and stayed with the vehicle.
According to the search warrant, while Arturo was in the field, he saw a police vehicle park and activate his blue lights where Alder was parked. Arturo stated to investigators that he heard gunshots followed by the vehicle driving away. Arturo then called his brother and said a police officer was shot.
On Aug. 12, a crime scene search was conducted for evidence relating to Deputy Byrd’s murder on Battle Bridge Road. Byrd’s weapon was seized and collected as evidence. The weapon was sent to the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation for DNA analysis.
The second search warrant obtained a DNA sample from Alder. The warrant says that there was probable cause to obtain blood, saliva and hair samples for DNA evidence at the crime scene.
A court found probable cause and a DNA search warrant was executed Aug. 18.
According to a North Carolina State Crime Lab report, the DNA swabbed from the weapon had three profiles: one male profile, Deputy Byrd and an inconclusive result.
Canyon Pickup Truck
Another warrant showed probable cause evidence to search and seize a red pickup truck that was seen driving away from the crime scene where Deputy Byrd was killed.
The warrant says that a red 2005 GMC Canyon pickup truck might contain evidence and the identity of the person participating in a crime.
Investigators looked to seize documents that showed ownership of the vehicle, photographs and forensic processing of the truck, fingerprints and DNA evidence on or in the truck, weapons, ammunition, shell casings or other evidence related to the investigation.
According to the search warrant, investigators seized extended magazines with bullets in it and a black cell phone with a black case.
The search warrant of the vehicle was executed on Aug. 17.
Another search warrant showed probable cause evidence to search and seizer a champagne-colored Cadillac Escalade. Alder was driving the Escalade and was stopped in Burke County on Aug. 16.
According to the search warrant, investigators were looking to seize:
- DNA evidence
- Clothing that may have belonged to Deputy Byrd
- Vehicle documents
- Cell phones
- Photographs of firearms, ammunition or other vehicles
- Electronic tablets
- Documentation of gun ownership
- Firearms, ammunition or other weapons
The search warrant reveals that investigators seized:
- Two cell phones
- A clear bag of a white powder substance
- A blue backpack with a motorcycle title, clothing, five AK magazines loaded with rounds, bags with five boxes of $37 and loose change
- A dark blue or navy long sleeve shirt
- An AK rifle with magazine
- A caliber gun
- A wallet with $542 and miscellaneous cards
- A Passport
The warrant was executed on Aug. 17.
According to five search warrants, investigators seized five different iPhones and searched the phones for contact information, text messages, phone calls and other apps on the phones.
Four of the phones belonged to Alder:
- A black iPhone was removed from the Cadillac Escalade on Aug. 18
- A black iPhone with a red case was removed from the Cadillac Escalade on Aug. 18
- A silver iPhone was removed from a residence in Garner on Aug. 18
- A rose gold iPhone was removed from a residence in Garner on Aug. 23
The cell phones were removed from the same garner residence.
A black iPhone that belonged to Arturo was removed from the Chevy Tahoe on Aug. 18.