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House torched after robbery

HARRELLSVILLE – A young man narrowly escaped death here early Saturday morning after two men broke into his rented home, bound and gagged him, and then set the residence on fire.

Hertford County Sheriff Dexter Hayes said the victim, 19-year-old Dylan Eure, managed to free himself and race out of the burning home, located on NC 45 just south of Harrellsville.

Hayes said the home was a total loss. He added that two vehicles parked at the residence suffered damage from the fire.

The Hertford County Sheriff’s Office was alerted to the fire at around 2:30 a.m. Deputies en route to the scene were advised that the victim was saying someone was trying to kill him.

“The young man told Deputy (Tyrone) Ruffin that he was awakened by the presence of two men standing over him with a gun,” Hayes said. “One of them then struck the young man in the head with an unknown object.”

Hayes said the two suspects questioned Eure about who else lived in the house and asked him to provide the location of a safe.

“The young man then said his hands and feet were bound using cords from a game controller and a cell phone charger,” Hayes stated. “They also blindfolded him and stuffed an article of clothing in his mouth to gag him.”

The Sheriff added that Eure said he could hear the men “rambling through everything” inside the home. Several electronic items belonging to the victim were stolen.

“At some point the residence was set on fire,” Hayes said, adding that the SBI Arson Unit was at the scene later on Saturday. “They will determine what was used to ignite the fire.”

After the suspects left the residence, Eure managed to free himself, grab his dog, and flee to a neighbor’s residence. He was not injured, according to the Sheriff.

“He described the suspects as wearing all black clothing with black ski masks and black gloves,” Hayes noted. “He said he did not recognize their voices.”

The Sheriff said Dylan Eure shared the rented home with his mother, Catherine Eure, who was not at the residence when the incident took place.

The mother and son formerly resided in Gates County.

“Deputy Ruffin canvassed the area and interviewed several neighbors, but no one heard or saw anything suspicious before first responders were alerted to the scene,” Hayes said. “We are still tracking down some leads on this case. It remains an active investigation.”

The Sheriff added that if anyone has information to share about the home invasion / arson to contact his office at 252-358-7800.

Meanwhile, a GoFundMe page has been set up to assist the Eure family. Visit www.gofundme.com and search for Dylan Eure.

There is also an account open at the Gatesville branch of the State Employees Credit Union to accept donations for the family. Those can be dropped off in person or mailed to PO Box 4, Gatesville, NC 27938.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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