Body found along I-85 in Davidson Co. identified

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DAVIDSON COUNTY, N.C. — The body of a man found dead along Interstate 85 Monday morning has been identified.

The Davidson County Sheriff’s Office says the body of William Darnell Hearst, 52, of Lexington, was found one mile north of the entrance ramp from eastbound U.S. 64 by family members around 6 a.m. Hearst appeared to have head injuries. His exact cause of death is being investigated.

Prior to Hearst’s body being found, N.C. Highway Patrol responded to a fatal single-vehicle wreck on I-85 at U.S. 64 around 12:40 a.m. where Courtney Michelle Brown, 33, of Lexington, was killed. Brown was driving the wrong way on an entrance ramp when her car ran off the road and struck a tree.

Officials say Hearst and Brown were in a relationship and were seen together on Sunday night, May 18, prior to her crash.

The Davidson County Sheriff’s Office and the N.C. Highway Patrol are jointly reviewing information and forensic evidence in an attempt to determine the sequence of events which occurred earlier in the evening.