Beating, killing of 70-year-old Dinwiddie man baffles neighbors, police

Posted at 4:17 PM, Sep 03, 2013
and last updated 2013-09-04 07:08:42-04

DINWIDDIE COUNTY, Va. (WTVR) - Investigators are working to find the person who killed a 70-year-old man last night in Dinwiddie County.

A man walking his dog about 8 p.m. Monday found the victim, who investigators identified as Carter Bascom Northington, unconscious in a yard along the 23000 block of Cox Rd.

The victim was rushed to the hospital. He died a few hours ago, investigators said.

Dinwiddie Sheriff's Deputies said Northington died due to a blunt force trauma to his head. Investigators say the circumstances surrounding the murder of 70-year-old Carter Northington are baffling.

"Northington was well known to the community and frequently was seen walking along Cox Road and in the area of Westgate Shopping Center," investigators said in a statement. Investigators added they were unsure of how Northington ended up on Cox Rd.

He had a constant presence in the Cedar Heart community in Dinwiddie County.

"That guy never took handouts, would never would let you buy him anything,” said Warren Payne.  “He just wanted to make it on his own."

Northington was known for walking in the Cedar Heart community, dressed in his blue jeans and suspenders, collecting cans for a few extra bucks.

"These days kids will kill you for five bucks," said Payne.

Investigators aren't sure yet what the motive was but they do need the people who drive that stretch of road to call them.  "They can help us develop a timeline of why he ended up in that area and who may be responsible for his death," said Dinwiddie Maj. William Knott.

"I was buying two filters for my truck.”  That’s what Payne says he was doing when he last saw Northington.  It was around one p.m. Labor Day afternoon.  "He was across the road there collecting cans.  That's how he made his living," said Payne.

Business owners in the area are baffled at why someone would beat the man to death.  They say he never bothered anybody.

Investigators say Northington lived alone but if you lived in Dinwiddie for any length of time, you would have seen him walking up and down the road with a limp.

"He didn't talk much or bother anybody,” said Elisa Buffa. “It's a shame and as a community we are upset about it.  All he did was collect cans."

This is Dinwiddie's third murder investigation of the year.

Investigators asked anyone with information about the case to call Crime Solvers at 804-861-1212.

This is a developing story.