The body of a man found in Fayetteville, North Carolina, was Anthony Macneill, a murder suspect who killed his girlfriend’s father and confessed to it on Facebook, police confirm.
The Fayobserver reports that the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office responded to a notification at around 11:14 a.m. on Tuesday that the body of a man was found behind a home off of Ratcliff Court. A maintenance person found the body and contacted 911.
According to Sgt. Sean Swain, Macneill, 32, shot himself in the head less than half a mile away from where he shot and killed Eugene Racine on August 28, the father of his ex-girlfriend. Police found a gun in the area, near Macneill’s body. He likely killed himself on Sunday, but authorities are still trying to determine the time frame between Racine’s murder and Macneill’s death.
The body was too decomposed to determine who it was or the cause of death, but detectives determined it was Macneill after using a fingerprint comparison. Macneill’s remains were sent to the Medical Examiner’s Office to determine the official cause of death.
Shortly after reportedly killing Racine, Macneill took to Facebook and announced that if he didn’t make it out of North Carolina, he would take his own life. Members of the neighborhood were on edge for days as police cordoned off streets while searching for him. Racine’s neighbor, Crystal Etta Rankin, said the following.
“They told me to keep the door locked, and stay out of sight because he might shoot me. We don’t know who it is, and I am here by myself a lot.”
Although it’s still unclear what caused the tragedy, Macneill referred to his former girlfriend’s father as an a****** shortly after the murder happened. Numerous Facebook users were quick to add that it doesn’t justify murder, regardless of how bad Macneill’s relationship was with Racine. He continued posting on Facebook as he fled on foot from the scene of the crime. Swain said they blocked off the areas in the general location that a cellphone tower provided.
“As Macneill was texting, we could get a general location and that’s what we searched off of, the cell tower…..It was within a thousand meters.”
The detectives’ fast work likely plays into why Macneill shot himself. He posted on Facebook that wouldn’t turn himself in to police and would “take himself out” before capture. Since he fled on foot, he probably didn’t have much chance of evading arrest.
Yet, even with a canine unit in the area and someone reporting a gunshot sound on Sunday afternoon, authorities still couldn’t find Macneill. Swain stated that it was difficult to determine where a gunshot sound came from in the urban area.
“An urban environment makes it difficult to determine the sound source. It can ricochet between houses.”
Swain indicated that detectives believe Macneill acted alone. There were apparently ongoing issues between Macneill and his former girlfriend, Cindy Racine. The couple shared one daughter together, but Cindy was living back at her family home, with her father Eugene Racine and her grandfather, Francis Racine. Just two days before Eugene was murdered, the family took out a restraining order on Macneill, but it still hadn’t gone into effect yet.
Francis Racine stated that Macneill had been fighting with both Eugene and Cindy over the past few months. Macneill allegedly sent a number of disturbing text messages to Cindy, that were turned over to police. Francis said the following.
“They [Eugene Racine and Macneill] had fought in the house and we had to pull them apart, my daughter and him. Two months ago they had a fight. Him and my son were into it out here. I guess that maybe that added up to the build up….By him coming out, he saved either Cindy or I from being shot at or both of us being killed. He’s a hero in my book.”
Funeral arrangements for Anthony Macneill haven’t yet been announced.
[Image via Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office]