Family of UNCW student, veteran killed in Pender County seeks justice


BURGAW, NC (WWAY) — The Pender County Sheriff’s Office opened a homicide investigation after a UNCW student’s body was found Friday. Now, the family of that student is speaking out, and they want justice to be served.

23-year-old Christopher Duane Stewart’s body was found in Rocky Point. His aunt, Patricia Walker, says he loved his family, his friends and his dogs.

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“If anybody ever needed anything, Christopher would be the first one to step up and offer to help anyway he could,” she said.

Stewart was an Army veteran, serving a tour in Afghanistan and still an active reservist.

“He was very proud to be a soldier,” Walker said. “He was very proud to represent our country.”

Stewart was also a junior at UNCW, studying criminal justice and forensic psychology.

Walker says he was a proud member of Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity, known as the UNCW Pikes.

“He was very much a big part of that fraternity, and they all have been very very supportive during this,” she said.

Stewart was living in Wilmington at the time of his death.

The Pender County Sheriff’s Office has not released when or where Stewart was last seen before his body was found Friday at Millers Pond Park off of U.S. Highway 117 in Rocky Point.

“We have very little information, very few details, very few facts, and a lot of unanswered questions,” Walker said.

The sheriff’s office is investigating Stewart’s death as a homicide.

Standing alongside Stewart’s mom, dad, step mom, and siblings, Walker says, the family will find justice.

“You need to come forward and you need to turn yourself in, that’s what we ask. Justice will be served,” she said.

If you have any information about Stewart’s death, please contact the Pender County Sheriff’s Office at 910-259-1212.

GoFundMe has been set up to help the family pay for Stewart’s funeral. As of Monday night, more than $13,000 had been raised for the family.