Rowan County April 1, 2020 Homicide Investigation


In the early morning hours of Wednesday April 1, 2020, Patrol Deputies with the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office responded to a disturbance call at 507 Yost Road, in Salisbury.  Deputies arrived and discovered 45 year old Abe Alexander Helms, along with his 40 year old girlfriend, 68 year old mother, and 61 year old step-father on the scene.  RCSO Deputies were called to investigate a reported assault at this residence, and were informed that Helms had come home intoxicated and assaulted his girlfriend, mother, and step-father.  Abe Helms also damaged the house by breaking out windows, which caused extensive damage to the residence. Deputies came into contact with Helms who was still being combative inside the home, and ignored Deputies’ commands and had to be restrained. Abe Helms was bleeding from injuries he received while he attempted to destroy the residence, and was treated for his injuries at the Novant Rowan Hospital.

RCSO Deputy Boswell charged Abe Helms with Simple Assault, 2 counts of Assault on a Female, and Damage to Property.  Helms received a bond of $2,500 for those charges.  The assault victims were seen by EMS at the scene, but declined to be transported to the hospital.   After Deputies and EMS cleared the scene, the step-father victim identified as Raymond Eugene Drye was transported to Atrium Cabarrus, in Concord, NC after he began having pain in his head from the assault. Shortly after Drye arrived at the hospital his condition became critical, and around 2:00PM on April 1, Mr. Drye died. Atrium hospital staff contacted Capt. Moose at the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office, and reported Drye’s death which appeared to have been the result of the assault. An autopsy was requested and the Rowan County Sheriff’s Criminal Investigative Division Investigators were assigned to continue the investigation. The Rowan County District Attorney’s Office was notified, and Investigators consulted on additional charges related to Raymond Drye’s death.

As a result of the investigation it was determined that Mr. Drye’s death was caused by the head injury he received in the assault from Abe Helms, and was ruled a homicide.  RCSO Sheriff’s Detectives again consulted with the Rowan County District Attorney’s Office and filed charges on Helms for Felony Voluntary Manslaughter.  Abe Helms received an additional bond of $250,000, and remains in the Rowan County Detention Center.

Author: Staff Writer