'); } -->
Charlotte-Mecklenburg police say they are investigating the death of a man found in his southwest Charlotte home Tuesday night as a homicide.
Debbie Jobe, a neighbor, told the Observer that the man had been in poor health and that a caretaker who regularly visited him found his body.
Police have not said how the man died, but they said there were “obvious signs of foul play at the crime scene.”
Detectives with the gang unit responded to the scene to assist the homicide unit, and representatives from the Mecklenburg County District Attorney’s homicide prosecution team responded.
This homicide is Charlotte’s seventh for the month of July and the 31st this year.
Police have not released the victim’s name. But public records list the resident of the house in the 11000 block of Red Hickory Lane as Alfred Michael Smith. Jobe confirmed that was the victim’s name and that he was known as Michael.
Smith’s family declined to comment.
Smith, who was in his 50s, lived at the house for more than a decade, Jobe said, and mostly kept to himself.
“I’ve never seen anybody else there, that’s just the odd thing,” Jobe said. “My niece lived next to him a few years ago, and she was sick with cancer, and he would cut her grass and offer to get her things at the store. He was very nice to her.”
Jobe said Smith has recently been in and out of the hospital and that he had a caregiver help him. But she said she was under the impression her neighbor’s health had been improving.
“I’ve seen him just this past Friday cutting his grass on his riding lawnmower,” she said. “He’d even been out driving, I’ve seen him coming back from the store.”
Jobe said the neighborhood, between Steele Creek Road and Brown Grier Road in southwest Charlotte, is a quiet family neighborhood.
“Everybody keeps to themselves,” she said. “We’ll say ‘hello’ and ‘how are you doing,’ but other than that, it’s about it.”
Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call 704-4332-TIPS or Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600.