JPD seeks vehicle info in death of ex-Onslow County deputy

Will Clifton (Facebook photo)

JACKSONVILLE, Onslow County - The Jacksonville Police Department is seeking the public's help in identifying vehicles seen coming or going from a Jacksonville park where a former Onslow County Sheriff's Office deputy was found shot to death Friday morning.

The body of William Clifton, 48, of Richlands, was found Friday at 6:30 a.m. in Woodlands Park in Jacksonville. Clifton was a 9-year veteran of OCSO, having resigned last February.

JPD is asking for the public's help in identifying any vehicles that were seen coming or going from the park between 9 and 11 p.m. on Thursday, July 6.

"Even the smallest amount of information could be helpful to the investigators" said Capt. Ashley Weaver, JPD Investigations Supervisor.

Weaver said a team of detectives has been working the case since Clifton's body was found Friday morning, but officials have been able to give only limited information on the case thus far.

"This type of detailed death investigation takes time. We appreciate the public's patience as we ensure a complete and fair investigation is conducted and handled within given legal standards," Weaver said. "This is an open and ongoing investigation and we will release information when we are able to."

Sheriff Hans Miller told NewsChannel 12 on Monday that Clifton's loss would be felt across the community, as he served some of his time with OCSO as a school resource officer.

"I knew him as a detective and he was very hardworking, when it came to crime against people, crimes against property - he was very approachable and very good when it came to witnesses," Miller said. "Justice will be served. We miss him. He was a good man, a good investigator and a good deputy."

Police have said Clifton's killing was an isolated incident and there is no continued threat to the public at-large.

The reward for information in this case could total up to $5,000, as JPD has added a $2,500 to the Crime Stoppers reward for information about the shooting. Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact JPD Det. Daniel Karratti at (910) 938-6410 or or Crime Stoppers at (910) 938-3273. Callers to Crime Stoppers can remain anonymous and never have to reveal their identities. Information can also be anonymously texted via Text a Tip by typing TIP4CSJAX and your message to 274637 (CRIMES).