Family believes body found in makeshift grave is missing Statesville man

A body has been found in a recently made grave during the search for a missing man in Statesville, North Carolina, police said.

Statesville police said they discovered what appeared to be a deceased black male buried in a rudimentary grave site on Monday in a wooded area behind the 1100 block of Mahogany Road. Officers said they were investigating the disappearance of Darwin "D.J. Turner."

D.J.'s aunt tells FOX 46 Charlotte it's unlike D.J. to not call his 7-year-old daughter, his mom or his grandmother. They said they received a call on Saturday morning that sounded like D.J. was in distress. 

"My mom, his grandma, who he calls every day got a call and all she heard was 'grandma' three times then the phone went dead."

Related: Police search for man missing for over a week

Due to the late afternoon, diminishing daylight and the wooded terrain, police had to suspend their investigation Monday until the next morning. 

On Tuesday morning, investigators with the Statesville Police Department, the Iredell County Sheriff's Office, along with the assistance of the State Bureau of Investigation began the work of investigating the possible site and excavation in order to determine if in fact a body has been buried at the location.

Due to the painstakingly tedious work of processing an outdoor crime scene in such terrain, investigators were expected to be on scene, investigating the site for numerous hours on Tuesday.  At this early stage, police said they cannot determine if the body is Turner. 

However, a source tells FOX 46 Charlotte that D.J. Turner was killed on Saturday morning and his body was moved to multiple locations before it ended up in a makeshift grave behind a trailer on Mahogany Road. 

"It had to be more than one individual who did what they did to him because he was strong, cocky and liked to fight. So it was more than one person." 

The body has been transported from the scene and an autopsy will be completed Thursday morning at Baptist Hospital. 

Anyone with information concerning this case is asked to call Statesville police at 704.878.3406 or Iredell County Crime Stoppers at 704.662.1340. Callers can remain anonymous. 

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