The 29-year-old Clayton man who was the suspect in a double murder in Fayetteville committed suicide Tuesday morning, according to authorities.
Officer Jeremy Strickland, a spokesman for the Fayetteville Police Department, said Rhaim Mosies Santiago killed himself in Smithfield in Johnston County after a manhunt that lasted more than 24 hours.
“He is deceased from what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound,” Strickland said early Tuesday afternoon.
Santiago was wanted on two counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of a man and a woman on Monday; one count of second-degree kidnapping; and one count of attempted robbery with a dangerous weapon.
Strickland said the charges are all in connection with the deaths of Marchellous Braddy, 33, of Rushmore Drive in Raeford, and Nakeea Brooks, 27, of Bartons Landing Place in Fayetteville.
The murders were reported at 12:14 p.m. Monday in the 5700 block of Aftonshire Drive in western Fayetteville.
Officers with the Fayetteville Police Department were sent to investigate a report that a dead person was found inside the residence. The homeowner arrived home and discovered an unresponsive man lying in the home, a news release said. The man was pronounced dead at the scene. Officers then found a second victim in the yard, and she was pronounced dead as well.
Santiago went missing Monday after being charged.
Strickland referred questions about the manhunt and investigation in Johnston County to the Smithfield Police Department.
Smithfield police Capt. Ryan Shepphard was in a meeting on Tuesday afternoon and was not immediately available for comment.
Santiago and the two victims apparently knew each other, Strickland said.
“We can’t go into detail on how they were known to each other, but we think prior to the incident they knew each other,” he said.
He said investigators are still trying to determine how the crimes occurred. Police have not said what the motive was.
“The forensic unit has been on the scene more than 12 hours,” said Strickland. “The homicide unit continues to investigate to see if anyone else was involved with the homicide itself. They continue to interview witnesses.
“Just because he’s dead doesn’t mean the case is closed,” Strickland said.