On Monday, June 12th, 2023, at approximately 1:30 am Pamlico County Sheriff’s Office Communications received a 911 call regarding a structure fire located at Fulcher’s Red Fox Stables (20454 NC Hwy. 55 East in Merritt NC.) The initial 911 call was made by a third party who received the initial call about the fire from an employee on the scene. Local fire departments were initially dispatched. Initial first responders arriving on scene indicated the structure was fully involved and requested additional manpower and equipment from agencies throughout Pamlico, Craven, and Beaufort Counties.

Initial first responders arrived and encountered two employees that escaped the fire, they reported that there was one employee unaccounted for and was believed to still be inside the structure. Due to the severity of the fire that individual was not able to escape, and firefighters were unable to locate him. Once the fire was brought under control and search teams could enter the structure human remains were located. The Pamlico County Fire Marshall, The Pamlico County Sheriff’s Office, The Office of the State Fire Marshall, The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, and the Office of District Attorney Scott Thomas were all contacted to assist in the investigation. The initial assessment of the cause and origin of the fire was deemed to be suspicious in nature and the investigation is being treated as an arson and homicide.

The deceased individual’s name will continue to be withheld until positive identification can be made by the medical examiner. One horse and one donkey were also located inside the stable by investigators. Anyone who was in the area at the time of the fire or anyone with any information is asked to contact the Pamlico County Sheriff’s Office at 252-745-3101