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River Road reopens as victim is identified

Vann, Alton Corey.JPG

New Hanover County deputies closed a stretch of River Road early this morning as they investigate what they say is a homicide.

At about 12:38 Thursday morning, deputies responded to a rural area of River Road, between Sanders Road and Independence Blvd., after receiving a call that a subject was lying on the side of the road. When they arrived deputies found a 20-year-old white man unresponsive with extensive head trauma.

After medical assistance was provided, the man was pronounced dead at the scene.

As the investigation continues, River Road has reopened to all traffic.

Alton Corey Vann, of Wilmington, was found this morning with extensive head trauma. An autopsy will be conducted within the next 24 hours to assist in determining the cause of death.

The next update will be provided at 2:30 p.m. at the New Hanover County Sheriff's Office, located at 3950 Juvenile Center Road.

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.


MY GOD!!!!

Active warrants, multiple arrests, and you idiots get on here and say what a great guy he was. Were you people his drug customers? I guess you will have to find a new supplier. A couple of years ago a guy named Shane Holloway was shot and killed by his girlfriend. He was a regestered child molester and yet there were tons of people writing in to say what a great guy he was. That seems to be what you fools do, no matter how many crimes he commited or how bad he was, he's still a great guy and you shouldn't say anything bad about him. What a load of horse crap you people shovel around. He could have sold crack or meth to children but you all would still say he was a great guy. WAKE-UP PEOPLE he was not a great guy he was not trying to turn his life around he was a low life thug and for what ever reason he's gone now, and that is one less on the streets to worry about. I'm sure alot of police officers and sheriffs deputies would agree along with 10 tons of parents in Wilmington and New Hanover County.

Are you serious man...

So you are saying that if u have been arrested multiple times and have a warrant you deserve to die? you sure are a bright one, Why don't you think like us normal people, where we say nothing is worth your life. Personally i did not know Corey but he was my best friend's uncle. I think its pretty screwed up how you are talking smack about him not behind his back, but behind his dead body. Get a life seriously man.


All of you people that are saying all these bad things about Corey need to back off. Unless you know this young man,you have no clue what kind of person he was. You are going by the way he looks and by what you think you know about his record is. Were any of you in court the days of his trail? Did you hear any facts on his charges? Do you know any of the circumstances. I know there is alot of people that smoke marijuana. Our new President did cocaine. Does that make him a bad person? Corey was charged with possession, not sell and delivery. A concealed weapon could be a pocket knife over limit. He was not charged with Larceny, it was receiving stolen property. Now lets see how many different things could that be? If you don't know the facts in these matters then don't be so quick to judge. I knew Corey and all the nice things people are saying are true. But beside all of that for anyone to say or think this young man deserved to die needs some serious help. From what I understand one sin is no greater than the other, so the day will come when you will be judged on your own actions. God Bless you Corey, may you be in a better place away from all these hateful, mean spirited people

Look at it this way....

Yes, a young life was tragically cut short. Yes, he is and will continue to be missed by those who knew and loved him. Because of these things, pointing out the negative aspects of his life and the choices he made may seem cruel. death not the time when we reflect on the life of the deceased? When Bill Gates dies someday, his life will be noted by and far for many reasons. Pundits around the world will speak of all the seemingly selfish things he did, but they will also point out his countless philanthropic deeds. This young man was clearly well-known, well-liked, and well-loved. There has to be a great deal of good things in someone to inspire those kinds of deep and lasting feelings. But this man was also troubled and guilty of repeated poor choices. I really do not believe that all of the negatives posted here are intending to be so cruel to the loved ones left behind. Instead, I suggest to you that they are part of the grieving process. When someone passes, especially under such tragic circumstances, we struggle to make sense of it. In that light, reflecting on the negative aspects makes the positive aspects all the more intense. Despite his faults and multiple poor choices, this person managed to inspire great feelings of love in all that knew him.

I guess

Concealed weapons, drug possession, possession of stolen goods. What a prince, and people will still defend someone who would steal you blind and sell your children drugs. It's his own fault he got killed. When you do bad things you can get killed for it and it looks like his luck ran out once and for all.

All I can say for comments

All I can say for comments like that, there will be a warm place in HELL for you. My son was a victim of an unsolved homicide-He was returning home from work robbed and murdered but you think he was doing something wrong. There are a lot of ignorant people in this world and you meet that profile. Get a life dumb ass or keep your mouth shut unless you know what you are talking about.

Thank you!

Thank you!

re: I guess

What a ridiculous thing to say about a fellow human being. He was 20 years old, he hardly had any time here on Earth to be able to right his wrongs. You are a short-sighted and pathetic excuse for a person for even saying something like that. Go ahead & slam me for calling you out on it. Regardless, there are less of you and more of me out there in the world. I'm not losing any sleep over it...and your clock is ticking...

Sounds Like....

That sounds like a threat to me. But I doubt a fool like you has the guts to back it up. If you honestly think me or any other parent out there will lose sleep because a drug dealing, weapon carring PUNK is dead, you are living in a dream world. It's just one less we all have tto worry about. Now I guess you will have to find a new dealer to get your product from.

You're 100% right

There are now more of you than people like WilmMan....or guesty.....or me. We see it in every election. We see in the appointment of our Teasury Secretary. We see it every day in our judicial system's structured sentencing. We see it every night on the news. The simple fact is that you and people like you refuse to hold anyone up to any standard of conduct. Steal? Rob? Sell drugs? Fail to pay taxes? Commit perjury? "It's all good! Who are we to judge anyone?" Yep! There are a lot of you....and a lot of nails in the coffin of a once great nation that is dying a slow, torturous death at the hands of people who just don't recognize what's important any more.

Right his wrongs....when did

Right his wrongs....when did that start? He had two outstanding warrants, was arrested less than a month prior, and was due in court that day for another charge. Exactly when was he going to start righting his wrongs? He may have been a nice person, but he was still a thug. Even killers can be nice people, but that doesn't change who or what they are


I walked a mile with gladness, He chattered all the way, But I was none the wiser For all he had to say. I walked a mile with sadness, And not a word said he, But, oh, the things I learned that day When sadness walked with me. You will be missed every hour of every day. I am so very sorry for the family of Mr. Alton Corey Vann tonight. My prayers are with you and your family and it will be daily. I don't live in Wilmington but my heart is there. You see I lost my niece there a few years back. Memories will help you survive but all your lives will never be the same. Take one moment at a time now. Live each day to its fullest. Remember GOD loves you and so do I.

Casting The First Stone...And Jesus Turned And, Said

Casting the First Stone,And Jesus looked at them and,saith he that is among you without sin let him cast the first stone. and they dropped all their stones and walked away.Because they all knew they had sinned!! .. First I give my deepest condolenes to the family & friends of Corey.I did not know this young man, but when I woke up Thrusday morning to watch the news I was sadden by Corey's death.You people making these disgusting & insensitive remarks about his past made me sick.Everyone has a past.I as well as Corey have a past I made mistakes in my life ,but it does not make me a bad person.What if that was your son, brother,or friend how would it make you feel if their past was brought to attention & people degraded their name.You as well would be sicken by it no matter Corey's past he did not deserve to die.People do change and Corey's family knew he had changed. Take for Instance The Superbowl the wide receiver Holems had a past to Holems used to be a drug dealer and look at him now he is a MVP so this alone should tell you people ,people can change their past (bad To Good)!!!! So let this Family grieve for their loss show some respect. Your family is in our thoughts and Prayers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


As I sit here and read all these comments I cry for my friend who sits in my living room and tries to figure out why this has happened to his brother. Try as I might I cannot console all his grief and tears. To see my friend in this condition is heartbreaking.I hope he never knows what heartless people have to say about a 20 year old who's life was taken for some senseless reason. Murder is murder no matter what the victim has done. He is not the killer, he's dead and we will grieve tonight and tommorrow and hope closure will come some day, but Corey will never be able to ride in the woods again with his brother. This is a sorry angry world. I was taught at a young age, If you have nothing nice to say KEEP you're mouth shut.

What is really important?

I was drawn to this story as I have a 20 year old son and my heart goes out to the family of this child. I did not know him but I am aware of just how young a 20 year old really is, and I am deeply sorry for the family's loss. In reading these comments, I am shocked by what my hometown has become...what has happened to us? Where is the compassion? Is a traffic jam really more important than the loss of life? For all of you who were inconvenienced on that sad morning, please take a moment and consider this: Years from now, when you look back upon your life and its highs and lows, on the moments that impacted you, will you ever remember the day that a road block made you late for work? I highly doubt it, because in the great scheme of things, it doesn't seem likely that this will have been a morning that impacted your life beyond the inconvenience that is already behind you. But Corey's family will always remember this day--years from now, when it is long forgotten by most of the posters here, that morning, and the loss of this child, will still haunt this family. Please, take a moment, reflect on what is truly important, and remember this family in your prayers.


I did not read all posting on here, but there seems to be people upset over what was posted here. First, I do not know this person or his family, but I do know that no matter what a person is or was that some where some one will miss that person. Second, I also understand why people get upset about the traffic around here. There are some employers in this town that will not give any lead way to an employee for being late no matter what the reason. And with jobs being hard to come by right now, must people are trying not to get fired for being late. Third, I don't watch TV in the morning or listen to the radio. So I did not find out about this until later in the day, after someone told me about it. So not everyone is turned into the news. Personally I don't like to listen to the news. Fourth, With Carolina Beach Road being worked on the traffic being backed up near Monkey Junction and then with River Road being closed I have to say that I agree that the law enforcement and DOT should have worked out something to have traffic run smoother and not become so backed up. If I remember correctly, not long ago the traffic was backed up on the CFM Bridge because of plans not being worked out on having traffic run smooth after a wreck on the road there. I think that DOT and Law enforcement should work together when things like this happen. Fifth, I would like to say that I pray that God gives this family strength and comfort in their time of need.

The Risks We Take

Yes, it is a tragedy whenever a human life is taken... I use to live in Wilmington until 7 months ago. I know who this guy was by rep., never met him personally but I had heard of him. Wilmington's not that big... But he was involved in a whole other world, The drug world. And thats exactly why he got his life cut short. This was yes a young man who had his life cut so short but he had made that risk asessment before he got involved with any of it... he had a choice. He chose the path that led him to this... We Dig Our Own Graves When We Make These Choices, Live or Die by the Results. Another poster boy for what can happen when you enter the drug trade. There will be at least one more tomorrow.

There will be at least one more tomorrow.

"There will be at least one more tomorrow." Sounds like somebody plans on tying up a loose end.

Shame on Wilmington

If this was your baby would you feel the same way! People need to take a step back and think about the other people's shoes before opening their DUMB mouths! I cannot believe that people would actually complain about traffic over a humans life! No wonder this world has turned so badly! I did not know this boy but when I read about it I CRIED, this could have been my 18yr old son whom I love more than anything! The same way this mother feels about her son! We never know what life will bring on us. It's easy to say and judge but you never know! How about showing some respect for this child's life! May God bring this family peace and I pray for all the DUMB people in Wilmington!

All of you complaining about

All of you complaining about the traffic help us all find and punish the person or persons that did this to Corey. As far as the blocking of River RD it was to protect the crime scene and everyone that was on scene that night. If there is a fire, traffic accident or death have respect for all involved they dont want you going through a scene and have the chance of hitting a person or contaminating a scene.


I did not know this young man or anyone in his family. These negative comments make me sick. I am not surprised the world is like it is today. My prayers are with the family.

Wilmington Star News and other news reports on Alton Corey Vann

I am so depressed and outraged about the insensitivity of the Wilmington Star News to print the criminal record of the young man found on River Road. This newspaper has no regard whatsoever for his family and all those who love him and are grieving for him tonight. All of us have been involved or tried to be involved with SOMETHING stupid during our teens. To even mention events from 4 years ago is EXACTLY saying that this is why this young man got murdered. The newspaper's handling of this tragedy is misleading, slanderous, gossip. This is so wrong.

It's not slander

First, it would be libel, not slander, as it was using a medium other than the spoken word....but that would be true only if it were spreading something that isn't true. Printing his criminal record may be in poor taste, it may be insensitive, it may be downright tacky....but in no way, shape, or form is it slander or libel. It is a matter of public record.

Regardless of his past choices...

I haven't read anything about where his vehicle is. The story states he was driving home from work. His body was found on River where's the car?

I believe his car was in his

I believe his car was in his driveway

The car

His vehicles are where they should be. It looks like he was picked up by somebody he knew, taken to River Rd., made to get out and walk and shot by somebody he knew, his hands being in his pockets would suggest this because he always stuck his hands in his pockets when talking to somebody he knew, when he felt at ease. I do believe they will find the person that murdered Corey, I only hope he or she meets an even more horrible death first.

Sitting in the parking lot

Sitting in the parking lot where he worked at.

First My heart goes out to

First My heart goes out to the Family, But Couldn't the Sherriff's dept. have called the DOT, to halt All that mess at Monkey Junction, before closing the road, that was the only way to avoid the mess. I too think it could be handled much better, but we will have to elect someone that can handle these things before things will change. I'm sure that young man didn't pick River Road to die on. It wasn't his fault and he had nothing to do with causing the mess that followed, So don't attack the dead person, Yell at those that don't know how to do the job that was needed in a difficult situation, and with basically two major roads closed.

4 simple things

1. Do not judge a book by it's cover, we are not to judge only God is. Beauty is not what's on the outside. 2. Some people may fall into the wrong crowd, that is not the time for you to ignore and disreguard as trash. This is an opportunity to show that you care and guide him back on the right path. 3. Who are you to post his criminal record, the past is the past and people have the ability to change. Why would you want to do that to a kid who has been murdered instead of feeling compassion for a child who has passed unjustly. His family must live with the loss of a child and a friend, and they want to remember the good things about him, not the bad. 4. Why complain about being late, being stuck in a traffic jam. You are still alive. Before you complain about a road blockage, turn on the radio, be informed, and feel compassion not anger.

For everyone out there

For everyone out there saying bad things about Corey you need to grow up especially if you didn't kno him he was a very caring person and he will be missed dearly I love you Corey and I'm sorry that my friends were such jerks. We all love you n we all miss you. R.I.P alton Corey vann