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Police Investigating Death of John Merriss, 18, Near Dumpster at Boone Apartment Complex

Boone Police Department roped off the area where the dead body was found on Friday morning. Photo by Ken Ketchie

Editor’s Note: On Saturday evening, the Boone Police Department released the name of the deceased. John Dakota Merriss, 18, died in an apartment complex off of Robin Lane. With the investigation still underway, investigators have not released a cause of death yet. 

By Jesse Wood

The Boone Police Department is in the middle of investigating a dead body that was found near a dumpster at an apartment complex off of Robin Lane, which is located off N.C. 105 Extension via Quail Street.

Boone Police Department Capt. Andy LeBeau was on the scene this morning. LeBeau said that two young men brought an 18-year-old male to the hospital at about 4 a.m. on Friday morning. Lebeau said he didn’t believe the victim was an ASU student.

This young man that was found unresponsive near the dumpster was dead upon arrival.

“We are trying to figure out the answer. There are no obvious signs of injury but the medical examination has not been completed yet,” LeBeau said. “We are in the process of interviewing people and trying to determine how this came to be.”

LeBeau was reluctant to provide more details while the investigation continues.

LeBeau said that name of the deceased will be released later today once all of the victim’s relatives are notified.

WSOC-TV’s Dave Faherty first reported on this investigation.

On the scene, Faherty tweeted that the police were securing a search warrant for a pickup truck, which was located feet from where the body was found, and also an apartment in the complex.

“[A] student says he and others put friend in back [of pickup] after drinking a lot,” Faherty tweeted.