States: North Carolina: McDowell
If he was murdered in McDowell County, you can write to the Register of Deeds in Marion about getting a death certificate. All deaths are filed there regardless of cause. The cost of an uncertified copy is less than $1 and when you get the date you would then be able to locate newspaper articles relating to the incident.
Ancestry.com also has NC death indexes in their database, so if you subscribe to them you could check it out. If you don't, let me know and I can check for you.
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