20-year-old last seen leaving grandma’s house to go fishing is found dead, NC cops say

A 20-year-old man last seen leaving his grandmother’s house to go fishing was found dead in North Carolina, officials said.

Now, the N.C. State Highway Patrol believes Michael Archuleta Jr. of Leland was killed in a hit-and-run. The crash sparked a search for clues and led officials to ask the public for help.

The case dates to Nov. 13, when the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office said Archuleta vanished on his fishing trip. Deputies urged people with information about his disappearance to come forward.

Then the following day, Nov. 14, officials announced that Archuleta had been found dead off Blue Banks Loop Road near Wilmington.

Troopers in an email to McClatchy News said the grim discovery came after Archuleta was riding his bike between 5 and 8 p.m. Nov. 13. A driver is accused of hitting him from behind and leaving the scene.

Archuleta “came to rest” in a ditch near his bicycle. He wasn’t wearing a helmet, officials said.

“Anyone who might have information, doorbell or security camera footage is asked to please contact the NC State Highway Patrol by dialing *HP from any mobile phone,” the sheriff’s office wrote in a news release.

People with tips also can call highway patrol at 910-395-3917. Troopers in their email didn’t say whether anyone was charged in the crash but said they will share more details when they become available.

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