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HOMICIDE ARREST - William Matthew Fortney and Amber Nicole Hitchcock
murder Whiteville Daily News

Tabor City, NC – On September 16th, Columbus County Sheriff’s Office responded to 366 PD Ranch Drive, Tabor City in reference to a possible deceased individual. Sheriff’s Office Deputies discovered Ricky Long, 57, deceased inside of his residence. Mr. Long had been assaulted and shot. Mr. Long’s 2002 Toyota Avalon was missing from his property.

The NC Medical Examiner’s Office in Raleigh completed an autopsy. The autopsy concluded that Mr. Long’s cause of death was a gunshot wound.

Columbus County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigation Unit with assistance from the NC State Bureau of Investigations determined that a male and female acquaintance entered Mr. Long’s residence. Once inside, the individuals assaulted Mr. Long then shot him. They fled from the residence in Mr. Long’s vehicle and headed to Oklahoma. Both defendants are from Oklahoma. The vehicle was located submerged in a body of water in Wagoner, Oklahoma.

The defendants were located at a hotel in Tulsa, Oklahoma. On September 20th, the United States Marshals Service arrested the defendants at the hotel.

Sheriff Hatcher would like to express his gratitude to the NC State Bureau of Investigation and the US Marshals Service for their assistance in this case.

Defendant 1:

William Matthew Fortney
404 East Birch, Coweta, OK 74429
D.O.B.: 09-10-1978

1 felony count of Robbery with a Dangerous Weapon
1 felony count of Murder

Defendant 2:

Amber Nicole Hitchcock
10230S 26th East Avenue, Broken Arrow, OK 74014
D.O.B.: 06-18-1985

1 felony count of Robbery with a Dangerous Weapon
1 felony count of Murder