FOREST CITY, N.C. (WSPA) – Two men have been arrested in connection to a shooting that left a man dead in 2019 in Forest City.

According to the Forest City Police Department, officers took Martiece Sanford, 27, of Forest City, and Steve Gentry, 64, also of Forest City, into custody on Tuesday.

The initial investigation began on April 4, 2019, when officers responded to an apartment on Big Springs Avenue regarding a resident who had not been seen in several days.

Once the officers arrived at the apartment, they could not get a response from the occupant. Therefore, they had to force entry into the apartment.

The police department said upon entry, officers found Robert Martin Blanton dead in the living room.

After further investigation, officers learned Blanton died from a gunshot wound to the chest.

There were no immediate arrests after Blanton’s death, however, officers continued to work leads that led them to Sanford and Gentry, the police department said.

Sanford was charged with first-degree murder, and Gentry was charged with aiding and abetting first-degree murder.

They are currently being held in the Rutherford County Detention Center without bond.