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Neighbor recalls slain Rural Hall man as ‘kindred spirit’, says accused killer gave him a ‘dark feeling’

RURAL HALL, N.C. -- The killing of Rural Hall resident Nicholas Williams doesn’t sit well with neighbors who live in the community.

Several neighbors on Hallmark Drive said they were shocked to find out Williams, 40, was killed.

"It's shocking, it’s hurtful," said Todd Cardwell, who would see Williams throughout the neighborhood.

On Monday, a missing person's report filed with the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office revealed Williams had not been seen since Sunday.

Forsyth and Craven counties' sheriff’s offices worked together on the missing person investigation after finding human remains on the side of the road near New Bern, nearly 300 miles away from Rural Hall.

Cardwell described Williams as a loving and "kindred spirit."

“He just had a pleasant demeanor. He was the type of person when you left his presence you were glad he was there,” Cardwell said.

Cardwell said Williams allowed Norris Rochelle Jr., 23, to stay in his home. Rochelle is now accused of killing Williams.

“And the times I encountered [Rochelle] it was a very dark, dark feeling,” Cardwell said.

Cardwell said he knows Williams' spirit will live on.

“I’ll tell ya, the world is a lesser place because of his passing,” Cardwell said.

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