A Burlington man was found murdered Monday, his beaten body stuffed in the trunk of his 1978 Mercury Cougar.
The victim, 48-year-old Roy Franklin Mahaley of 2119 McKinney St., was discovered by co-workers at Map Enterprises in Graham after he hadn't shown up for work two mornings in a row.``All of us said it was strange he wasn't here,' said Walter Allen, president of the company. ``For 20 years he was about as reliable as you want anybody.'
Allen said Mahaley left his job at Map Enterprises, which sells and services hydraulic equipment, at 3:30 p.m. Saturday and went home, planning to return Sunday morning. Mahaley was shop supervisor, and the company had a job it needed to finish during the weekend, Allen said.
At 6:45 a.m. Sunday, Mahaley's car was parked in his space as if he was going to report for work at 7 a.m. Co-workers thought it was odd he never turned up at work Sunday, though they weren't alarmed, Allen said.
``We didn't get really upset until this morning,' he said. Mahaley's car was still in the company's parking lot, in his reserved space.
Allen and others at the company began a search, with Allen heading to Mahaley's house to look for him. No one answered the door.
Efforts to reach Mahaley's wife, Marylin, were unsuccessful Monday.
By the time Allen got back to work, some co-workers had discovered the body in the trunk of the Cougar and called police. The keys to the car had been left in it, and nothing else had been disturbed, Allen said.
Graham Police Chief Raymond Perdue said Mahaley appeared to have been beaten, although the cause of death won't be known until an autopsy is completed.
``We've contacted the SBI and they've brought in a mobile lab and are investigating at this time,' Perdue said.
He said there are no suspects, no witnesses and no known motive. Allen said Mahaley's wallet was missing, however.