WADESBORO, N.C. -- Anson County authorities are investigating a murder that occurred along U.S. Highway 742 Wednesday night.

The Anson County Sheriff's Office said they were called to U.S. Highway 742 North after a report of a car in a ditch around 8:30 p.m.

When deputies arrived on scene that discovered a man dead from a gunshot wound to the chest outside of the vehicle. He has been identified as 42-year-old Keith Jerome Whisnant. Investigators believe the murder occurred around 8:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Authorities closed part of Highway 742 while detectives and the SBI conducted their investigation at the crime scene. The road was reopened around 6:30 a.m.

Whisnant, of Ocean Isle Beach, was traveling to Johnson City, Tennessee, according to authorities. At some point, investigators believe he picked up a passenger.

One passing motorist told investigators he saw what appeared to be two people struggling in the front seat of the 2000 silver Ford Focus as it sat in the ditch.

There was no sign of a second person at the scene when officers arrived, and officers do not know if the person was picked up by a passing vehicle.

Anson County Sheriff's Deputies are looking to speak with the driver of a mid-size white car. Officials believe the driver of this car stopped at the murder scene, believing it was a motor vehicle accident, and may have talked with the suspect. This driver is wanted as a possible witness in the case.

The Sheriff s Office is asking anyone with any information in this incident to call the Anson County Sheriff s Office at 704-694-4188.

Read or Share this story: