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Police Chief: Car set on fire, ‘KKK’ written on house following Liles’ death

Police are investigating a crime which they say can be linked to the death of a 19-year-old last weekend.

Norwood Police Chief James Wilson said around 9:30 p.m. Wednesday a vehicle was set on fire and “KKK” written on the side of a house on Whitley Street in Norwood. No one was at home at the time, he said.

“It is the family that is related with the suspect involved in the murder of the suspect last weekend,” Wilson said. “She is an innocent bystander in this and did not deserve any treatment like this.”

Taylor Liles

On June 9, Taylor Liles of Albemarle died following an alleged domestic-related assault. The Sheriff’s Office has charged her boyfriend, Lequinton Orlando Melton, 25, of Norwood with first-degree murder.

Wilson said Norwood Police has “not had an incident like this.”

Lequinton Melton

When asked if this is considered a hate crime, Wilson said “we are exploring all possibilities with this crime.”

“We are placing a lot of resources on this crime,” he added. “We are taking it very seriously.”

Wilson said the Stanly County Sheriff’s Office, Stanly County Fire Marshal’s Office and the State Bureau of Investigation are assisting with the investigation.

Norwood Police Department is offering a $500 reward for information that leads to the arrest and prosecution of anyone responsible for the arson. Call 704-474-3716 with information.