Fri Oct 22, 2021

Man charged in helping dispose of body that was dumped in Cape Fear River in August

Members of the Columbus County Sheriff's Office prepare to put a diver in the Cape Fear River at the N.C. 11 bridge near Riegelwood Aug. 21. Boats using sonar saw several images worth checking out with a diver. Staff file photo by Les High
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A Riegelwood man was charged with being an accesory in the August murder of a man who was dumped into the Cape Fear River on the Bladen-Columbus line, the Bladen County Sheriff’s Office announced Monday.

Allen Lavander Alston, 60, of 4538 N.C. 87 East, Riegelwood, was arrested Aug. 28 with accesory after the fact in the murder of Kenneth Ross Covell. Alston was issued a $75,000 secured bond.

Allen Lavander Alston. Source: Bladen County Sheriff's Office

Allen Lavander Alston. Source: Bladen County Sheriff’s Office

BCSO states that Alston helped dispose of Covell’s body after Jim Robert Goins of Durham allegedly killed him. Goins was charged with first degree murder shortly after the incident.

According to the BCSO, Covell was killed by Goins during an altercation in the morning of Aug. 19 in East Arcadia. The two both lived at the same Durham address, BCSO stated. 

The BCSO and Columbus County Sheriff’s Office were first notified of a possible assault and a body being dumped into the river on Aug. 21 and began a search. Covell’s body was recovered in the Cape Fear River near the Riegelwood Golf Course in Columbus County the following morning by Christopher Rhodes of Precision Search and Rescue, a volunteer group based in Riegelwood.

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Goins was arrested on Aug. 26 by the U.S. Marshals Service.

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