15-year-old charged with murdering 75-year-old grandfather in Kernersville

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FORSYTH COUNTY, N.C. -- A 15-year-old boy is accused of killing a 75-year-old man in Kernersville.

Forsyth County Sheriff's deputies responded to 1526 Greenview Drive just before 10 a.m. Sunday. They found the body of 75-year-old Clarence Nelson Parrish near the edge of the woods, not far from his driveway.

Family friends and multiple other sources close to the investigation tell FOX8 the boy in custody is Parrish's own grandson.

According to tax records, Parrish owns the 60 acre area of farmland where his body was found.

His body has been sent to the Medical Examiner's Office in Winston-Salem for an autopsy. The cause of his death is not yet known.

Investigators did confirm they charged a 15-year-old boy with murder. Chief Brad Stanley said the murder was not random. He could not confirm the suspect's identity because he is a juvenile. Parrish was dead for less than 24 hours, Stanley added.

Several of Parrish's friends came by Monday to pay respects to his family.

Jerry Smith has known Parrish since he was a teenager. "It's tragic any time you hear something like that. It's very tragic," he said. "It just doesn’t seem real."

Smith said they called Parrish by his middle name, Nelson. "Nelson had a good life. He grew up poorly, you know, and made something out of himself."

Parrish farmed his land in Kernersville up until a few years ago and he and his wife still ran a business next door selling farm equipment, Smith said.

Another close friend, Melvin Taylor, declared, "Nelson was the best cook in Kernersville."

He said Parrish often invited thirty or forty people over to the farm and cooked all day for everyone. They also loved sports car racing.

"We'd go to Daytona and stay a week or two," Taylor recalled. "We'd get a car and ride up and down the coast, and tobacco and everything. We had a good time. One of the best friends I ever had," he said, pausing. "He was a good man."

Friends say Parrish had two grown children and at least five grandchildren who lived nearby.

The District Attorney's office tells FOX8, generally speaking, a teenager charged with murder could be tried as an adult. The D.A. said there were several factors to consider first, however, such as the suspect's state of mind and mental capacity.

The D.A. said the suspect had a detention hearing Monday morning. The teen is in custody and will stay in a juvenile confinement facility for now. There is another court date scheduled for Nov. 4.

Anyone with information related to this incident to contact the Forsyth County Sheriff's Office at 336-727-2112 or Crime Stoppers at 336-727-2800.

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