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Murder suspect arrested; body found believed to be missing 86-year-old King man

Arzell Tuttle and Christian Lang Willard

STOKES COUNTY, N.C. — Investigators found a body believed to be an 86-year-old missing man from King, and a suspect has been arrested for murder, according to King police.

Officials have been searching for Arzell Tuttle since he went missing about a week ago. Investigators found what they believe is his body Wednesday night in Virginia.

Christian Lang Willard, 20, of Winston-Salem, is charged with first-degree murder. Police say the two were acquaintances.

Williard's family member told FOX8 he is a good kid, and this is not who he is. They declined to comment further about the charges.

Police expect to file additional charges involving more suspects.

Tuttle had been reportedly last seen on Jan. 8 between 5:30 pm. and 6:30 p.m.

Investigators believe Willard murdered Tuttle in his home at 761 E. King St. in King between the evening of Jan. 9 and the morning of Jan. 10.

The search began after emergency responders in Forsyth County were called to a suspicious vehicle fire on Kentucky Avenue in Winston-Salem on Friday. Arriving responders found a car on fire with nobody inside.

Authorities contacted a family member of the vehicle’s owner to help find the registered owner, according to police. The family member was unable to find Tuttle.

King police said the car appeared to be wiped down and found blood in the car and in Tuttle's garage, according to the search warrant obtained by FOX8 on Wednesday.

When police searched Tuttle's bedroom, it was in disarray with sheets off the bed and drawers open. Family members told police he was usually meticulous about making his bed every morning.

Tuttle was known to keep large amounts of cash on his person and in his house, family members told police.

Family added that Tuttle had a "habit of allowing young men to stay at his house, where they were allowed to consume alcohol and smoke cigarettes." Tuttle did not use tobacco products or alcohol of any kind, according to family reports.

Tuttle allegedly had allowed a young man and his girlfriend to stay with him at his residence. Police said the young man didn't have a car and Tuttle frequently gave him rides.

On Wednesday, King police said a vehicle possibly associated with the disappearance of Tuttle was located in Winston-Salem and that the people who were in the vehicle were being interviewed.

Willard is being held with no bond in the Stokes County Detention Center.

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