Who has the best lights in town? Vote now for your favorite in our holiday lights contest.
Charles Kenneth Perdue, who was found dead Monday, was always smiling, a friend said.
Charles Kenneth Perdue
Thursday, September 26, 2013
He loved to laugh. He loved to help others. He hated the name Charles.
Charles Kenneth Perdue was found dead Monday by Roanoke County police in a remote area of the county in a case officials are calling suspicious.
Perdue, 51, of Roanoke was discovered in the 4300 block of Rutrough Road, south of Explore Park, about 12:15 p.m. Monday after officers were asked to check on someone, according to Lt. David McMillan.
Assistant Chief Chuck Mason said that Perdue was found outside.
Past that, not much more is known about the circumstances of Perdue’s death. Not much that has been released publicly, anyway, or to a close friend.
Perdue never liked the name Charles, said Georgia Morris, a longtime friend. He liked “Kenny” or “Snag.” He was affable and constantly smiling.
“He was a good guy,” she said. “If you’d met him, you’d never forget him. He was just one of them people.”
Morris, 69, said she was engaged to Perdue from 1990 to 1999 and remained good friends with him since. She said two detectives came by Tuesday to discuss the case with her after she phoned the department when she saw the case in the news.
Morris said Perdue was scheduled to work Monday morning for a neighbor doing painting at a job site but never showed up. She’s not sure where the job site was, but she doesn’t believe it was Rutrough Road.
There’s only once occupied house in that out-of-sight area on Rutrough, and the vicinity can only be accessed after a steep ascent up a mountain road. Morris said Perdue had no car.
“That’s what we can’t figure out,” Morris said. “Why was he there?”
Perdue lived with Morris in her southeast Roanoke home for 10 years, even after they broke off their engagement, but he moved out last year.
“He just liked to do that,” she said. “He would go stay in a motel a while.”
But as much as Perdue was a “happy-go-lucky” guy on the outside, she said, he appeared to battle pain and demons with alcohol abuse.
“He was very troubled,” Morris said. “He was his worst enemy.”
Roanoke General District Court records show that Perdue was found guilty of being drunk in public more than 30 times since 2003, 29 of those times since 2007.
He sometimes tried to hurt himself, but “he wouldn’t hurt nobody else on this Earth,” Morris said.
Morris said police and emergency workers came to her home on numerous occasions.
Perdue had frequent seizures, Morris said, and was on Social Security disability because of them. She said the seizures predated his alcohol abuse. A hip replacement in the mid-1990s left him in chronic pain, too, she said.
Since his health declined, Morris said, Perdue had been out of steady employment.
Police declined to say who called them originally. Morris said it wasn’t her.
Perdue’s parents are both dead, according to Roanoke Times archives. A sister could not be reached Wednesday.
“It breaks my heart,” Morris said. “Somebody down there alone, in a place like that. And if he had have been hurt or screamed for help, nobody would have heard him.”
An autopsy was conducted Tuesday, but McMillan said the cause of death has not yet been determined. The investigation is ongoing, he said.
Anyone with information is asked to call police at 777-8641 or Crime Line at 344-8500.
Staff researcher Belinda Harris contributed to this report.
Weather JournalMix on Sat AM; coming blog changes