By Harriet Sokmensuer
April 02, 2020 01:40 PM
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Credit: GoFundMe

The family of a “beloved” army veteran whose body was found in a North Carolina park is searching for answers.

On Friday, the body of 23-year-old Christopher Duane Stewart was found at Millers Pond Park in Rocky Point. The following day, the Pender County Sheriff’s Office announced on Facebook that Stewart had been murdered.

Meanwhile, his family is mourning their loss.

“Chris was a beloved son and older brother, selfless friend, and role model to many,” his loved ones wrote on a GoFundMe page set up to help pay for funeral expenses.

Stewart served a tour in Afghanistan and loved his two dogs, Ava and Prince, according to the GoFundMe page.

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“If anybody ever needed anything, Christopher would be the first one to step up and offer to help any way he could,” Stewart’s aunt, Patricia Walker, told WWAY3.

He was a student at the University of North Carolina Wilmington and graduated from Pender High School, according to the Wilmington Star News.

Stewart was studying criminal justice and forensics psychology at UNCW. He was a “zealous member of his fraternity, Pi Kappa Alpha,” according to the GoFundMe page. “As he was highly respected and motivated in guiding the new members under his wing.”

Anyone with information concerning this case is asked to contact the Pender County Sheriff’s Office at 910-259-1212.