MORGANTON, NC (WBTV) -
Investigators say they have recovered the head of a missing man who was found murdered and dumped on the side of a highway on Monday.
According to officials, the body of Damond Lamont “Peanut” Kincaid was found along the side of Highway 105 on Monday afternoon.
His body was found without a head, according to investigators, but it wasn’t clear if it had been removed during the murder or after by an animal.
On Tuesday morning, investigators appeared to be leaning towards an animal attack after the murder.
Investigators in Caldwell County were contacted last week by family members of Kincaid’s family – who filed a missing person’s report. They say he was last seen in the Granite Falls areas of Caldwell County.
The investigation led to a vehicle body shop in Burke County and the Burke County Sheriff’s Office joined the case.
Witnesses say Kincaid was last seen with 32-year-old David Matthew Higgins, of Morganton, in a gray Hummer.
According to the Burke County Sheriff’s Office, investigators searched the Hummer and found what appeared to be blood in the front passenger seat and at least two small caliber firearm casings in the back seat.
Investigators say Higgins was admitted to Grace Hospital, in Morganton, on August 11. When he was questioned by authorities, Higgins denied any involvement in Kincaid’s disappearance.
Higgins’ neighbor, 17-year-old Jacob Coley, told investigators that Higgins came to his house on August 11 and said he’d shot Kincaid and dumped his body.
Higgins at first denied any connection to Kincaid’s disappearance, but Coley, Higgins’ neighbor, later told investigators that Higgins had come to his house in the early morning hours of Aug. 11 and said he shot Kincaid and dumped his body. Confronted again on Monday, Higgins admitted he killed Kincaid and dumped his body. He then led detectives to where the decomposed body, though some parts by then were missing.