GREENSBORO — Police made an arrest Monday in a June 10 homicide that left few clues about both the victim and the suspect.
Edward Jorge Gardner, 32, of Greensboro, faces charges of first-degree murder and burning of person property in the death of 53-year-old Ralph Coleman Dunbar, of 2994 Stanley Road, Trailer No. 14, in Archdale, a police news release stated.
Police spokesperson Susan Danielsen said that officers do not yet know Dunbar's cause of death.
Dunbar's body was found around 5 a.m. by firefighters responding to a 911 caller who reported a vehicle fire about 200 yards north in the woods at the end of Falconridge Court. Dunbar's body was so badly burned that investigators could not determine his gender, race or age.
"Because the remains were in poor condition, it made identifying the victim much more challenging," Danielsen said. "The car was the best launching point for this investigation."
Officers determined through the vehicle's identification number that the car belonged to Dunbar. The N.C. Office of the Chief Medical Examiner positively identified Dunbar as the victim.
"Once the medical examiner came back with a positive identification that the victim was the registered owner of the car our investigation was in full swing," Danielsen said. "We began looking into who had was last seen with."
Witnesses told police they hadn't seen Dunbar since June 10. Gardner was connected to the homicide through social media posts and phone records where officers discovered the men had agreed to meet for sex.
Gardner has a lengthy criminal conviction record that includes possession of Schedule II narcotics, misdemeanor breaking and entering, larceny after breaking and entering, larceny of a motor vehicle, attempted common law robbery, speeding to elude arrest, receiving stolen vehicle, carrying a concealed weapon and possession of a firearm by a felon.
He was released from a two year, eight month prison sentence on Oct. 8, 2007.
Police arrested Gardner at a friend's house at 3528 Drawbridge Lane. He is now being held in the Guilford County jail without bail.
GREENSBORO — A man has been charged in the death of a man whose remains were found in a burnt car June 10 on Falconridge Court.
Edward Jorge Gardner, 32, of Greensboro, was arrested Monday morning in the death of 53-year-old Ralph Coleman Dunbar, of 2994 Stanley Road, Trailer No. 14, in Archdale, according to a police news release.
Gardner was taken in to custody without incident around 6:30 a.m. at a friend’s home at 3528 Drawbridge Lane. In addition to the first-degree murder charge, he is also charged with felony burning of personal property. He is currently confined in the Guilford County jail without bail.
The investigation began shortly after 5 a.m. on June 10 when fire officials discovered human skeletal remains in a 2001 Ford Taurus that was set on fire about 200 yards north in a wooded area at the end of the court.
N.C. Department of Motor Vehicle inspectors were able to get a vehicle identification number from the frame of the burned car, which was registered to Dunbar.
A medical examiner confirmed that Dunbar was the victim through a comparison of medical X-rays. The cause of death is pending toxicology tests.
Detectives followed a trail of evidence involving social media and mobile phones. They learned that Gardner and Coleman met over the internet and agreed to meet each other on June 9 to have sex, according to Susan Danielsen, police spokesperson. What transpired between the two in the intervening hours remains under investigation.