70-year-old man murdered, ‘Can Man’ never bothered anybody

Posted at 4:59 PM, Sep 04, 2013
and last updated 2013-09-05 18:55:32-04

SCROLL DOWN for information on how you can help catch Carter Bascom Northington's killer -- and help pay for his funeral expenses.

DINWIDDIE COUNTY, Va. (WTVR) – The brutal murder of 70-year-old Carter Bascom Northington, who may be one of the best-known people in Dinwiddie County, is creating outrage and disbelief.

Deputies and sheriff's investigators spent Wednesday morning walking the shoulder of Cox Road looking for clues in hopes they will lead them to a killer.

Northington was found beaten and unconscious Monday evening in the yard of a vacant house. He died from his injuries Tuesday morning.

The victim’s sister said her brother was borderline mentally handicapped and lived a very simple life.

The fact that many did not know his name is not stopping strangers from rallying in his memory.

At Atlantic Iron and Metal, Gary Sawyer was one of the employees who saw Northington about once a week when he stopped by to drop off the cans he would collect for cash.

"There is a void. It’s a shame,” said Sawyer, who has seen the “Can Man” walking around cleaning up the community for decades.

Misty Sink, who also works at Atlantic Iron and Metal, said Northington’s  death would leave a void in the community.

"He was very much quiet and a loner, but he didn't cause any problems with nobody," said neighbor Boyd Rhodes.

Northington's brutal murder has the community searching for answers.

"I don't think there would have been a fight at all. I think somebody out there, just took advantage of an old guy for no reason," said Brandon Martin, one of Northington’s neighbors.

"It kind of breaks my heart... that someone would hurt this man that never bothered anybody," said Lisa Hawkins, who has been planning a vigil for Northington.

That candlelight vigil is scheduled for this Friday at 8 p.m. at the Food Lion shopping center in Dinwiddie. Please bring candles and cans for the ceremony.

Two locations have been set up where folks can donate cans to help pay for Northington’s funeral expenses.

A dumpster provided by Atlantic Iron and Metal at the Westgate Shopping Center located at 4330 Westgate Drive in Dinwiddie is in place for donations until Friday. Wyatt Signs donated the sign on the dumpster and the cans will be taken to Atlantic Mental for recycling.

dumspterAdditionally, cans may be dropped off at Reaching New Heights Magazine  at 16037 Continental Boulevard in Colonial Heights. Take the Ruffin Mill exit, and look for the dumpster just past Boulevard Flower Gardens near MarvaMaid. This dumpster will be available for two weeks.

A fund has also been set up at the Bank of Southside Virginia by a friend of Northington’s to accept donations for information leading to the arrest. Donations can be made at Bank of Southside Virginia branch. As of Thursday, Sept. 5, $2400 has been donated.

If you have information that could help investigators, call the Dinwiddie County Sheriff’s Office at 804-469-4550 or Petersburg/Dinwiddie Crime Solvers at 804-861-1212.