A Wilson Times Co. publication · Serving Southern Nash County Since 1947

Slain friends remembered for youthfulness: 2 charged with murder; bodies found in Johnston, Nash

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RALEIGH — Police have arrested two men in connection to the homicides of a Franklin County man and his friend last month, but family members of the victims said they are still grieving.

The Raleigh Police Department began investigating after Brendan Robert Hurley, 23, and his friend Anthony James McCall, 21, went missing July 17. Hurley lived in Franklinton and McCall lived in Raleigh.

Three days later, police announced that the two men had been killed and two suspects had been arrested and charged with murder: Ryan Craig Veach, 19, and James Daishawn Robinson, 21. Hurley’s body was located in Johnston County that day, and a second body that police have yet to identify was discovered in Nash County on July 26.

Police have not given a motive for the killings or released the causes of the deaths.

‘Mama’s Boy’

Hurley’s mother, Laura Hurley, said she knew something was wrong the moment he was late to pick her up from work the day he went missing.

“He was supposed to pick me up at 9. He didn’t show up,” Laura Hurley said. “I went ‘Brendan’s not here. Something’s wrong.’ I know my kid. He doesn’t run late.”

She said she turned to her boss and said she knew her son was dead. She said she felt a disconnection from him at that moment.

Family and friends gathered at a memorial service for Brendan Hurley in Wake Forest on Monday. On display at the service were things of Hurley’s: shoes, an Xbox controller and a Bob Marley T-shirt.

“He loved music. He loved video games. He was a family man,” Laura Hurley said, wearing a camouflage ball cap that belonged to her son. “We always came first. He was a mama’s boy and I will always be thankful for that.”

Laura Hurley said her son met McCall while the two were working together at Stewart’s Bistro in Wake Forest. The two were like brothers, even after Brendan Hurley started working as a lead chef at First Watch, also in Wake Forest. She called the men “goofballs” who had fun whenever together.

Finding justice

Family members reported the pair missing within hours, according to 911 tapes, and an investigation began. Laura Hurley said she appreciates the work of detectives and patrol officers.

“They made sure that my son came home to me and I’m very grateful to them,” Hurley said.

According to a police spokeswoman, the bodies were located through “investigative means,” but the department declined to comment further.

Robinson and Veach, both of Raleigh, are being held in the Wake County Detention Center without bond, according to police records. They each are charged with two counts of first-degree murder.

A third suspect, a juvenile, was charged with acting as an accessory after the fact to murder, police said.

According to WRAL, that suspect is 16-year-old Andrew Francis Carroll, also of Raleigh. The station cited arrest warrants that accused Carroll of having driven Hurley’s car from a Zebulon location to a scrap metal recycling center on Garner Road in Raleigh, where police discovered it.

Members of McCall’s family did not agree to an interview or to provide a written statement when contacted this week.

Hurley’s family members said they don’t know what happened between the two groups of men. Laura Hurley said she had never met the suspects.

“I just felt that they were at the wrong place at the wrong time,” Laura Hurley said. “My son didn’t know those guys and he didn’t roll with people like that.”

Brendan had pending drug charges in Franklin County at the time of his death, which Laura declined to discuss.

“I really pray deep in my heart that my son and Anthony will get justice and at this point I have to put my faith in the justice system of North Carolina and pray that they do the right thing,” Laura Hurley said.

Laura’s mother, Nancy Ianniello, went further. She said she is praying for the suspects as well, because she knows her grandson would want her to.

“I’m a Christian grandma and Brendan knew … that I would pray for them. Brendan would say for me to pray for them,” Ianniello said. “The biggest tragedy is that those men are not right with God.”

Veach and Robinson had their first court appearance Monday. They will return to court Aug. 12.