Sheriff’s Office: Gang member charged in woman’s disappearance

Angel Arias Picture courtesy of the Rowan County Sheriff's Office
Angel Arias
Picture courtesy of the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office


In early November 2014, The Rowan County Sheriff’s Office began investigating a missing person case involving Elisha Walker, with the listed address of Mt. Hope Church Road. The Sheriff’s Criminal Investigations Division became involved in the investigation. Friends and family of Walker stated they last spoke to him in late October 2014, and they determined Walker was living on Celebration Drive, in Salisbury, but was also known to visit a residence on Hemlock Drive, in the West Cliff community, in Salisbury.

On November 11, 2014, the Sheriff’s Office released information to the media to attempt to generate additional leads in the case. Detectives received calls from the public, but none of the leads produced much information. On November 22, 2014 the car (described below in an earlier release) that Walker was operating was discovered destroyed by fire, in an open field, in Sampson County. At that time, Rowan County Sheriff’s Office Detectives responded to Sampson County, and processed the destroyed car. Several leads were developed in the case. As a result of the investigation, 23 year old Angel Dejesus Arias was developed as a suspect in Elisha Walker’s disappearance. Arias was living on Hemlock Drive, Salisbury, at the time of Walker’s disappearance. Arias was also spending a lot of time in Smithfield, NC, which is located in a neighboring County, of Sampson County. Arias is a known member of the Latin Kings street gang. The investigation continued throughout December 2014 and into 2015 in Rowan, Johnston and Sampson County. In February 2015, Angel Arias moved out of the Hemlock Drive house, and returned to Johnston County.

In July 2015, Rowan County Sheriff’s Detectives, with the use of a cadaver detection K-9 searched the area around Arias’ residence on Hemlock Drive, Salisbury. In August 2015, Rowan County Sheriff’s Detectives obtained additional information that Angel Arias was being held in the Johnston County Jail on unrelated drug charges. Sheriff’s Detectives continued the investigation in Johnston County, and were able to identify a residence located on Homestead Lane, outside Smithfield, NC as a possible location of the remains of Elisha Walker.

On August 13, 2015, Rowan County Sheriff’s Detectives and crime scene investigators responded this location with the assistance of Johnston County Sheriff’s Office Investigators, and obtained a search warrant for the property. Wake County Sheriff’s Office provided a Human Remains Detection trained K-9 to assist in the search of the property. The search began and around 7:30PM, a small depression was discovered and excavated in the woods behind this residence. Human remains were discovered buried here, and was identified by property and description, as Elisha Walker. The remains were removed from the crude grave, and taken to the Raleigh Medical Examiner’s Office for Autopsy and positive identification. The scene was released just before midnight, and Rowan County Sheriff’s Detectives returned to Salisbury, and obtained arrest warrants on Angel Arias for Felony larceny of a Motor Vehicle, and for Murder. He is being held under no-bond in the Johnston County Jail awaiting transport back to Rowan County.

This press release appears as received from the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office with the exception of  page/text/space/paragraph/general formatting details.  Picture placement also excluded.  All pictures included with original release may not be shown here.  Separate reports contained within the same press release may have also been removed.  Additionally, the different pieces of the press release may have been re-arranged.  This press release was posted at after being received from the agency listed.  Article title and picture captions may, or may not be, part of the press release.  This information does, however, reflect the information received from the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office.

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