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Charlotte Area

Man Found Dead In West Charlotte; Police Searching For 18-Year-Old Suspect

A man was found dead in a wooded area near Rhyne Station Road in west Charlotte Friday, according to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department.

Police have identified him as 20-year-old Jacob Hernandez. His body was uncovered Friday by a team of officers with help from a police canine.

Hernandez had been reported missing by his family on Thursday. Detectives say they quickly began to suspect foul play in his disappearance.

Initial information has led police to name Jaime Joel Melendez Suarez, 18, as a suspect in the case, and a warrant has been taken out for his arrest, though as of Saturday afternoon, police have not been able to locate him.

Police believe Hernandez was shot on the 4200 block of South Boulevard and his body later brought to the wooded area where he was found.

It marks the 14th homicide in Charlotte this year, and the third homicide this week. On Monday, a woman was fatally shot during an armed robbery outside an apartment complex in east Charlotte. On Thursday, a man was found dead at his home in south Charlotte following what police describe as an "altercation" with family members.

Police have arrested three teenagers in connection with Monday's shooting. It's not clear whether police have arrested anyone in connection to Thursday's death. 

Anyone with information about this case is asked to call 704-432-TIPS to speak directly to CMPD detectives. The public can also call Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600.