DINWIDDIE, Va. (WRIC)—Just hours after 48-year-old Michael Elmore was charged with the first-degree murder of 70-year-old Carter Northington, members of the Dinwiddie community honored the departed "Can Man" at a candlelight vigil on Friday night.
"It was just good police work," said Sheriff D.T. "Duck" Adams of Elmore's arrest. "I'll tell you it started with a video from one of these businesses. And we took it from there and we just worked on it every day and it finally led us to the suspect."
Hundreds gathered at a local Food Lion, where Northington was often seen collecting aluminum cans. Mourners collected more than 2,000 pounds of aluminum cans to show their support. While they may not have been good friends with him, everyone at the vigil saw or knew of Northington.
"Everybody had some kind of contact with him," said Rodney Perkinson, who organized a can donation drive in Northington's name.
Dinwiddie residents hoped to pay tribute to the shy 70-year-old who walked to Food Lion every day collecting cans along the way.
"You say ‘the Can Man,' you know exactly the guy," said Mindy Perkinson, who organized the vigil. "The guy in the blue pants and the rainbow suspenders."
Northington lived alone, so when word of his brutal death spread, a vigil, can collection and fund were started. In just two days, the community raised more than $4,000, which will cover memorial expenses for a man many will never forget.
"If you live right and you don't do nobody no wrong, then you have a lot of friends," Perkinson said, "and he had lots of friends."
Cans may be donated in honor of Northington for two more weeks, at the Food Lion at 4330 Westgate Drive in Dinwiddie, and at Reaching New Heights Magazine, 16037 Continental Blvd. in Colonial Heights.
Copyright 2013 by Young Broadcasting of Richmond
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