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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Michael Smith’s body was found last week in a Monkey Junction parking lot. Now investigators say he was the victim of murder. They charged Charles Saliba Monday with Smith’s murder.

Sixteen hours after Smith’s body was found, Saliba was arrested for weapon possession and was charged with first degree murder Monday afternoon.

“It’s inspiring to know that this can come about,” Smith’s mother Carol Gregory said. “That people like this can be gotten quickly.”

New Hanover County Sheriff Ed McMahon says the swift arrest was due to the combined effort of detectives and the District Attorney’s office.

“Detectives worked overnight and through the weekend, but everyone working together enabled to bring the beginning of justice and charge this gentleman with first degree murder,” says McMahon.

Even though Saliba is charged with her son’s murder, Gregory says she won’t feel complete closure until he is convicted.

“I’m praying,” Gregory said. “Still, even though they’ve caught him that they won’t let him get by with this horrible crime that they committed on my son.”

District Attorney Ben David says right now they are not sure of a motive in Smith’s murder.

Saliba is scheduled to appear in court Tuesday morning.


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