5 charged with murder of man found dead in Blacksburg


CHEROKEE COUNTY, SC (WSPA) – The Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office officials confirmed the Gaston County Police Department has arrested five people after a man’s body was found on the side of the road in Blacksburg last week.

According to Sheriff Steve Mueller, Kenneth Anderson Black — also known as Kenneth A. Pilgrim –, 44, of Gastonia, NC, was murdered in Gaston County and the body was then dumped in Cherokee County.

Gaston County Police officials said in a Facebook post on Wednesday that detectives conducted interviews after they were called by the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office to help provide information on a homicide investigation that possibly happened in the 900 block of View Heights Court in Gastonia, NC.

Gaston County Police detectives determined that Black was last seen at the View Heights Court address.

William Glenn Bell, Jr., 33, Billy Wayne Brinson, 34, Tristan Thomas West, 32, Wade Nelson Nations, 54, all of Gastonia, NC, and Carla Jean Black, 26, of Blacksburg, have been charged with first-degree murder in connection to Black’s death.

Gaston County Register of Deeds’ Susan Lockridge confirmed that Carla Jean Black married Kenneth Black (aka Kenneth Pilgrim) on Jan. 14, 2017. 

According to the Facebook post, the five were all acquainted with Black and are in custody.

Mueller said the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office is continuing to investigate who dumped Black’s body in the county.

Black’s body was found on Shaman Road near the intersection of Rock Springs Road by a state Department of Transportation worker who was mowing grass.

“The subject was lying face down in the ditch line and had been there for several days based on the condition of the body,” Coroner Dennis Fowler said. “Family members identified Black from body tattoos. An autopsy was performed August 8 and confirmed the manner of death is homicide. However, I am not releasing the cause of death due to the ongoing investigation.”

Anyone with information about Black’s death is asked to call Gaston County Police Det. Dow at 704-866-3320 or Crime Stoppers of Gaston County at 704-861-8000.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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