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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — An autopsy is scheduled for a homeless man investigators found dead and burned at a homeless camp in the woods.

Wilmington Police got a call Sunday morning from a man who said his friend was dead from a fire at their camp in the woods near 16th and Kidder Streets. EMS, the Wilmington Fire Department and WPD responded and found the badly burned body of a man. The body was beside a fire pit that had been dug at the homeless encampment. Police say the victim has been tentatively identified as Justin-John Crum, 28. He had no fixed address.

The friend who had reported the death had severe burns to his hands. He was taken to the hospital.

The case is under investigation and an autopsy has been scheduled.

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21 Comments on "Autopsy scheduled for homeless found dead, burned"

Sarah H
2015 years 9 months ago

Justin, I’m so sorry to hear this tragic news. You were always a really nice guy and you will never be forgotten. God bless you – may you rest in peace.

2015 years 9 months ago

Justin was an outstanding young man whom will be missed. I served with Justin during his time in the military both stateside and in Iraq, I was his 1SG while deployed and I can honestly say based off Justin character I am shocked to hear that he passed away alone and homeless. What in the hell is wrong with our country, he was a son, a brother, a friend and a Veteran. How could this sort of senseless thing happen to such a great young man? What did the the VA do before he was discharged to ensure that a combat vet was 100% ready for the outside world. I know deep from my heart Justin should have never been homeless let alone dead. He was hands down one of the brightest Soliders I had the privalige to work with. God bless his family, Justin will forever be my brother in arms and will never be forgotten. Love you brother.

2015 years 9 months ago

you guys would know if you really knew him he drank alot. and when he drank he didnt want to do anything else with his life. he ended up homeless because he didnt care about anything except to drink. he had friends. but after they saw him as a drunk they quit helping him out

2015 years 9 months ago

Don’t be so quick to judge. I grew up with Justin from elementary school through high school in a very normal middle class Cleveland suburb. Anyone who knew him will tell you how kind and funny Justin was. I am in complete schlock that he was homeless and even more shocked and saddened that he is gone…

too sad
2015 years 9 months ago

This man was a dear friend of mine. I tried to help him when he came to Wilmington as i grew up with him in the same town. As for his family, they haven’t talked to him in years.

2015 years 9 months ago

…you’re admitting that everything I said is 100% accurate and correct. Thanks, but please explain how I don’t have a RIGHT to be insensitive. What requires that I be some kind of overly sensitive weeney who sheds tears for someone who threw their own life away? I believe that you, I, or anyone has a right to be as sensitive or insensitive as they want to be.

2015 years 9 months ago

…you never did adequately answer that question, did you?

I believe that we have differences in perception. What you see as compassion, I see as being a sucker and being entirely destructive to our nation.

I fed my kids. They never went to bed hungry in their lives. I fulfilled my obligation as a parent.

Exactly how did I incur the obligation to pay for someone else’s kids?

More importantly, what do we gain (as a society) by constantly providing fish while telling the poor that they never need to learn HOW to fish? The War on Poverty is approaching it’s fiftieth anniversary. It’s “greatest triumphs” are the total destruction of three generations of poor who now have no work ethic at all, a 72% illegitimacy rate among Blacks, and poverty worst than ever.

Maybe compassion that accepts irresponsible reproduction isn’t compassion at all.

Sarah E
2015 years 9 months ago

This is a rather cruel comment, especially when you don’t know the person or where they’ve been. This young man was a veteran who fought for your freedom. Shame on you. Justin, you will be missed and it was a pleasure to serve with you. RIP

2015 years 9 months ago

Just so you know I just found out about this and I grew up with him. We graduated high school together and were great friends. He was in the army and served his country. How dare you say it’s his choice to live they way he did. Look at the number of vets that are homeless due to the economy. People need to open up there eyes and see what this country is coming to

2015 years 9 months ago

Justin fought for us in the military. He deserves much more than this. It’s a terrible shame he ended up homeless. We could do without your insensitive comments. Say a prayer for Justin and those like him instead…

2015 years 9 months ago


2015 years 9 months ago

Please let me say to you prior to reading my post that my comments are in no way intended to be a personal attack upon yourself, merely an observation. My apologies in advance if that is not how they come across.

In a post on 2/13/2012 I wrote: “16 million American children go to bed hungry yet there’s always time and money to waste on (other) stuff”
You responded: “Why aren’t their parents feeding them? Why did their parents HAVE them?”

I guess that really stuck in my head because it still bothers me. And now you’ve written this post ………..

Common sense contributes to a person’s intelligence. Compassion contributes to a person’s humanity. Both are important for a fufilling exhistence as a human being.

Perhaps you’ve just never chosen to manifest that particular side of yourself within this format. I truly hope that is the case.

Either way, I wish you a good day.

2015 years 9 months ago

thank you for standing up for Justin! He really was a great person!!!

guest smith
2015 years 9 months ago

It is so good to hear such great things about Justin. In the time I knew him he was always kind, quiet and respectful. He lived with my son for awhile, then moved out. I didnt know what happened to him. My son said they had recently been in touch. My son was devastated to learn of his death on FB. His family will have to live forever with the knowledge that they did nothing to help him and now its too late. NEVER give up on anyone you love.

2015 years 9 months ago

I hope you never have to find out what it is like to lose everything. You are right in that no one can force someone else to make proper choices. It is also true that you cannot force someone to feel or show compassion for their fellow man. Yes, substance abuse is an ugly thing. Yes, in most cases it happens because of the choices a person makes. But that gives you no right to be so insensitive to the plight of another human being.

2015 years 9 months ago

Air Attack Brother. RIP

2015 years 9 months ago

It’s sad that there are no comments on this post,but there are many on all the election stories,but this is a subject no one wants to tackle from either party democrat or republican!!

2015 years 9 months ago

We write 90% of our life’s screenplay. If life stinks and you want to gripe to the author, look no further than the nearest mirror.

The percentage of substance abuse among the homeless is astronomical. No one can force a person to manage or salvage their life. The overwhelming majority of these people are there because of their own choices.

Sara M
2015 years 9 months ago

Justin was an amazing person and will be missed by many. My heart aches for his family. we will remember him as a bright and funny guy.

2015 years 9 months ago

Justin, You will always be missed you!!! I still can’t believe this has happened. My heart is breaking. You are such an amazingly funny and thoughtful person.

Thank you for your service to our country!! You did what many people wouldn’t do for our country. Thank you for the tours you did overseas.

Miss you so much!! xoxo Gia

Westlake Friend
2015 years 9 months ago

Justin, you were a great friend from back in the day. Had some amazing times and wouldn’t trade a single one of them for anything. Thought one day that our paths would cross again, that isn’t so for now. Will see you again brother!


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