The body of an 18-year-old was discovered in the woods behind an apartment complex Tuesday night, the Winston-Salem Police Department said.
The body has been identified as Eneas Rojas, 18, and his family has been notified, said Lt. Gregory Dorn with the criminal investigations division.
Police received a tip around 7:20 p.m. that a body had been located at Skyline Village Apartments on Timlic Avenue and found the deceased man about 150 yards into the woods behind building No. 9.
Yellow police tape cordoned off an area of the woods, leading from an embankment into the more densely wooded area, as police continued to investigate Wednesday morning.
The body was not wrapped up or covered when police found it with the help of Triad Bloodhounds and the police department's K-9 unit, authorities said.
It was unclear how long the body had been there or what the circumstances were leading up to Rojas' death.
A neighbor, Labriant Johnson, said he heard four gunshots around 10 or 11 p.m. Monday night. Another neighbor said she heard gunshots, too, but declined to be named.
Johnson, who lives in one of the apartments that backs up to the crime scene, said he saw police bring the body out of the woods Tuesday night. Forensics units remained on the scene Wednesday morning.
“This sort of thing has happened around here a couple times throughout the years,” said Johnson, who is originally from New Jersey. “I think it’s still surprising to a lot of people.”
Johnson, who has two young daughters, said the area is an everybody-knows-everybody kind of neighborhood.
Around noon, Rojas’ family and others congregated at an apartment building farther down Timlic Avenue.
Despite the language barrier, about 50 people linked hands to pray together in Spanish and English.
“We wanted to gather and pray for the family,” said Carl Hardy, a volunteer with a mission group from South Carolina that was doing work in the area.
An autopsy of the body is scheduled for Thursday morning in Winston-Salem.
The body was found a block away from where a Texas man was fatally shot last month.
A 13-year-old and a 15-year-old were charged with murder in the June 17 shooting, and Tevin Lamar Bonner, 28, died a few days later.
Police said they do not believe at this point that the two incidents are connected.
The Criminal Investigations Division is investigating the death but declined to classify it as a homicide investigation pending autopsy results.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Winston-Salem Police Department at 336-773-7700 or CrimeStoppers at 336-727-2800.