Murdered Raleigh man described as dedicated to serving others

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RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Raleigh police are investigating the death of an 84-year-old man found him dead inside his home on Evers Drive during a welfare check earlier this month.

CBS 17 has learned Benjamin Merritt was a teacher in Zebulon and also spent much of his career mentoring at-risk youth.

And even after he retired, many young people in this community say Merritt was like a father figure to them and they don’t know why anyone would want to hurt him.

Raleigh police found Merritt dead inside his home on June 13.

“It shouldn’t of never happened,” said Michael Hood, Merritt’s son-in-law. “It really shouldn’t of never happened. I mean not to a man like that.”

Merritt was the grandfather to Hood’s daughters.

“Couldn’t ask for one better,” said Hood.

Hood says Merritt was an U.S. Army veteran who served in the Korean War and even after that, he dedicated his life to serving others, taking many in the community under his wing.

“He was kind hearted,” said Hood. “He was good people. I’m gonna miss him, miss him very much.”

Friends of Merritt say he spent much of his 40-year career teaching and mentoring at-risk youth. Some in the community tell CBS 17’s Kelly Kennedy they went to his house whenever they need advice.

“He liked to cook out,” said Hood. “He liked to watch his sports. He liked to talk a lot.”

Raleigh police have not said if they have any suspects in this case, but they did say Merritt’s homicide was not random.

If you have any information, contact police.

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