A man who made a hobby out of journeying on top of trains was decapitated after riding one under a bridge.
24-year-old Varcy Locklear was known to police in the US for jumping on trains without a ticket and has been charged numerous times with trespassing.
Authorities believe his dangerous habits led him to be decapitated as he journeyed on the top of an Amtrak train in Lumberton, North Carolina on October 30.
Locklear’s headless body was found shortly after his death, while his skull was discovered on December 11 and formally identified on Thursday (December 20).
Police believe the 24-year-old’s body remained on top of the train after his head was detached but then fell off approximately 128 miles away in Enfield, shortly after the Amtrak passed through a track switching area and swayed from side to side, presumably dislodging the body from its roof.
The train in question was examined by investigators who found blood spatter consistent with the decapitation theory. According to The Fayetteville Observer they believe Locklear was killed when the train passed under a bridge near N.C. 20 and Red Road in the St. Pauls area.
Enfield police Captain Dreher Bozard described the likely scenario, saying:
He fell off about 50 yards from the switch. As the train is switching, you have a lot of rattle back and forth. It dislodged the body from the roof. That’s how the body ended up in the town of Enfield.
In this case, we located the train and car he was on top of and we found blood samples and there was blood spatter consistent with everything that happened.
Locklear’s body was discovered by an Enfield resident who notified law enforcement.
Amtrak spokeswoman Kimberly Woods explained what happened when it was found on October 30, saying:
Service on an Amtrak train was temporarily suspended at the request of local law enforcement.
It was reported of a possible interaction with the train and a person who was on the track. Service was suspended in order for Amtrak and local authorities to investigate.
The train was cleared to resume service about 46 minutes later. At the time of the incident, 99 customers were on the train. There are no reported injuries to customers or crew members.
Bozard revealed Locklear had a history of interacting dangerously with trains, saying:
He has been charged in the past with some trespassing charges dealing with trains. He’s also been warned several times about trespassing on train property, so he has a history of this.
He also has gone on Facebook before and posted a video on Facebook live of him standing in front of a train and jumping out of the way at the last second.
The 24-year-old’s death is being treated as accidental, though police are still looking into it.
Enfield police Detective Willie Murphy said:
It is still under investigation. Right now, we don’t believe there is any type of foul play. It’s a bizarre case.
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Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.