New info: Hodges may be using dating apps to meet, move in with men, women
CHARLOTTE, NC – The U.S. Marshals Carolinas Regional Fugitive Task Force is asking for the public’s assistance with locating a Conover man wanted by the U.S. Marshals and Conover Police Department for first-degree murder.
Donald Ray Hodges, aka Tyrone Evans, aka Unique Hodges, 50, is alleged to have murdered his wife in May 2022.
The U.S. Marshals Service is offering a reward of up to $10,000 for information leading to Hodges’ arrest.
On May 4, 2022, the Conover Police Department responded to a shooting in the 700 block of 2nd Street SW in Conover and discovered Brenda Bender, of Conover, with gunshot wounds. Bender was pronounced deceased at the scene.
Police encountered Hodges in a Charlotte hotel that morning hours before Bender was discovered. He appeared to be under the influence of hallucinogenic narcotics and was vandalizing the lobby area of a hotel. He was transported to a local hospital but left before receiving any treatment.
On May 10, 2022, the Conover Police Department obtained an arrest warrant for Hodges for first-degree murder. Hodges has not been seen since the date of the homicide, and it is believed that Hodges is aware of his charges and is actively evading law enforcement.
Hodges is a black male, 6 feet 6 inches tall and weighing approximately 273 pounds with a muscular build. He is bald, has brown eyes, and usually has a beard. Hodges has multiple tattoos on his chest and arms, to include an “OG” on his chest, a dog on his right shoulder, “TNT Hardcore” on his left shoulder and “Love Shirley Nancy,” as well as a Masonic symbol on his left arm.
“I urge any citizen who knows anything about Mr. Hodge’s location to please take a second and make that information known to us or any local law enforcement officer or agency,” said Terry Burgin, U.S. Marshal for the Western District of North Carolina. “Please help bring some closure to the murdered victim’s family and loved ones by bringing this wanted fugitive closer to justice.”
Investigators have learned additional details about Hodges that might help lead to his location:
Hodges is known to befriend and use people to obtain money to help him avoid capture. Investigators say they believe he may be meeting both men and women through dating apps and moving in with them until he overstays his welcome. Then he moves on to the next person.
Investigators also say they believe Hodges remains in close contact with his family and other criminal associates while on the run. He previously worked as a long-haul trucker and has strong ties to eastern North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Georgia, and New York.
Hodges has a lengthy criminal history to include robbery, assault and weapons charges. He should be considered armed and dangerous.
Anyone with information about Hodges’ location is urged to call the USMS Tips Hotline at 1-877-926-8332. Tips also be reported 24/7 through the USMS Tips App.
Photo: Donald Ray Hodges. Photo provided via U.S Marshals Service.