Unsolved Cases and Missing Persons


Unsolved Cases

Kenneth “Ken” Earl Mohler

Kenneth “Ken” Earl Mohler was last seen on August 16th , 2012, at his place of employment, Gregory Wood Products located at 2801 Woodtech Dr. Newton, N.C.; where he worked as a third shift maintenance man.

Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of Kenneth ”Ken” Earl Mohler is asked to contact Senior Investigator Kerry Penley with the Catawba County Sheriff's Office at 828-465-8344 or kpenley@catawbacountync.gov.


Ronald Lester Padgett

On February 21, 2010, the body of Ronald Lester Padgett aka- “Beer Man” was found murdered in the bed of a pickup truck parked in a wooded area just off Spencer Rd. in Hickory. Investigators do not believe that Padgett was killed where his body was found. Padgett lived in the Conover area and had been reported missing just prior to the discovery of his body.

Anyone having information regarding the murder of Ronald Lester Padgett should contact Senior Investigator Kerry Penley at (828) 465-8344 or by Email at kpenley@catawbacountync.gov.

Roy Thomas Melton Jr

Roy Thomas Melton Jr –better known as “Bud”- was found murdered in his home on April 17, 2007. Melton resided in the Sherrill’s Ford Community and was known as a breeder of Pit Bulls.

The exact motive for the murder is unknown and the suspect(s) remain at large. Anyone having any information related to this investigation is encouraged to contact Sergeant Aaron Turk (Phone: 828-465-8348, Email: aturk@catawbacountync.gov.

The Melton family has offered a $10,000.00 reward to anyone who provides information that leads to an arrest and conviction in this case.


Unidentified Female #1

This female's body was located in Lake Norman on July 24, 1997. The female is possibly of Asian decent, approximately 30-40 years of age, 5'3" in height and may have weighed about 80 pounds. The victim had dark hair with a possible interweave hairpiece. Her ears were pierced three times. She was wearing the necklace pictured at right.

Tina Martin

Tina Martin was last seen on 02/12/2008 at 07:00 a.m., leaving her residence on Burnt Leaf Ln. Tina was driving a 1996 Ford Thunderbird, white in color, NC registration TNJ-2783.
If you have any information of Tina’s whereabouts please contact Inv. Styers at 828-465-8341 or JBstyers@catawbacountync.gov

Kristen Casey Gantt

On 08/20/1983 at approximately 11:21pm, Kristen Casey Gantt was shot and killed drivng his 1969 Ford truck on Hwy 127 South. There have been multiple leads in the case over the years and we believe that there is someone that might have information on the shooting.

If you have any information on the shooting please contact Inv. Stout at 828-466-7229 of tstout@catawbacountync.gov