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Witness: Fayetteville man beaten to death, put in dog cage

January 5, 2019
Charles Anthony Fuentes

A Fayetteville man missing since March was beaten to death and his body later put in a dog cage, a witness told police.

Charles Anthony Fuentes, 31, was last seen leaving Izzy’s Sports Bar, at 150 Andrews Road, in the early hours of March 3. Grainy security video from outside the bar shows a man believed to be Fuentes leaving with two men in a dark-colored 2007 Lexus with license plate PCE-2228.

Police identified the two men as Mark Allen Verhasselt, 42, and Ryan Dewain Chavis, 23.

Verhasselt was shot to death outside a Myrtle Beach, S.C., apartment complex in July.

Chavis, of the 6800 block of Tallpine Drive, was initially charged as an accessory after the fact in Fuentes’ death. On Thursday, police upgraded the charges against Chavis to first-degree murder, first-degree kidnapping and conspiracy to commit first-degree kidnapping.

A witness told police that Fuentes was beaten to death during a disagreement with Verhasselt and Chavis, and the witness later saw Fuentes’ body in a dog crate, according to Sgt. Shawn Strepay, spokesman for the Fayetteville Police Department.

“Nobody deserves that,” said Fuentes’ mother, Mayra Fuentes. “That’s unreal to happen in this town or any town.”

Strepay didn’t say if police know where Charles Fuentes was killed. His body has never been found.

Mayra Fuentes has said investigators told her her son was murdered in an apartment behind some businesses in the 4800 block of Ramsey Street – about a mile from where he was last seen – and thrown in the Cape Fear River.

Police searched the river in early September for his body but came up empty.

Chavis remains in the Cumberland County jail without bond.

“I want Ryan Chavis or his family, because he probably don’t have access to hear this from me, but his family, when they talk to him, to let him know that I want to know where my son is at,” Mayra Fuentes said Friday. “We are going to find him sooner or later.”

Cumberland County District Attorney Billy West said investigators hope Chavis will provide information that will help authorities recover Charles Fuentes’ body.

“I think he was heartless, that he has no conscience,” Mayra Fuentes said after attending a brief court hearing for Chavis on Friday afternoon. “I think he’s evil, and even his attitude towards not even looking at us, acknowledging that we are there, that we’re suffering, it makes me believe that he has no heart.”

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