Cumberland County News

Crews search for body of Fayetteville man who was cut up, put in trash bags, family says

CLINTON, N.C. (WNCN) - Search and rescue crews hit the trails and waters Sunday in Sampson County, hoping to bring a son home to his family after years of waiting.

Last month, CBS 17 told you about new information in the search for James Chambers II that led crews to cover new ground.

James Chambers Sr. and a dozen others spent their Sunday morning on water and land looking for clues.

"They don't even know anything about my son, and yet they're out here on a Sunday morning," Chambers Sr. said. "This is awesome."

They're looking for answers four years in the making -- after his 28-year-old son disappeared in August 2014. 

"Sometimes it's a nightmare, others time, you make due," Chambers Sr. said. 

The missing man's father and others including Chief Andrew McLean of the Atlantic Life Safety and Emergency Services said the waters near the Keener Road bridge could hold the key to cracking the case.

"Due to the flooding of Hurricane Matthew in October 2016, we're wanting to focus a little bit further downstream to see, if, by some chance, the floodwaters actually pushed the remains further down," McLean said.

Crews began searching for Chambers' body near the bridge in June, after given information by the man convicted of Chambers' death, Howard Ashleman.


"He supposedly cut my son up into pieces, put him into contractor trash bags and threw him over this bridge," Chambers Sr. said.

McLean said they've been using tools like pike poles on the search, primarily looking for black contractor bags.

The latest search came after Chambers Sr. said they found two trash bags about a mile down the river from the bridge in June.

"They're going to be poking and prodding, if you will, to try and rustle anything up that has settled over the years," McLean said.

They hope more volunteers will continue to help bring a son home to a family for a final resting place.

"We're going to search every lead until we're exhausted," Chambers Sr. said.

Anyone with information of James Chambers II's whereabouts is asked to call the Fayetteville Police Department at (910) 433-1529 and/or Atlantic Life Safety and Emergency Services at (910) 242-3581.

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