DINWIDDIE COUNTY, Va. (WTVR) - Sources tell CBS 6 surveillance video from a gas station helped deputies identify 48-year-old Michael Edward Elmore.
His arrest was announced on the night a Dinwiddie community rallied and remembered the man Elmore is accused of beating severely and leaving for dead Monday night. Carter Northington died Tuesday.
Friday night’s vigil featured a “Collection for Carter” from a community that's crushed.
"Lord help us learn from this man’s life," the pastor said.
Hundreds packed the parking lot at the Food Lion on Route 1 in Dinwiddie, a spot where you'd see the 70-year-old Northington cleaning up the lot, in search of some aluminum.
"This crowd is overwhelming," Dinwiddie Sheriff Duck Adams said.
Northington was a man of few words, but his actions often spoke volumes about the person he was. Julio Husain says just last week the "Can Man" knew of his recent hospital stay and asked if there was anything he could do.
"Every time he saw me, he'd offer a kind word and always offered to help me," said Husain.
Northington was found savagely beaten Monday night, by a woman walking her dog, Marley. The canine made the gruesome discovery.
Marley’s owner didn't want to show her face on television.
"This man not only affected that man's life, but also the life of me and my children, too," she said.
According to a source, Carter's body was found near an old abandoned house off Cox Road which was frequented by drug users.
"I want to thank the deputies and investigators for good old-fashioned police work," Adams said.
Sheriff Adams’ office announced the news of Michael Elmore's arrest for murder Friday.
"He should've been brought to this vigil, put into a ring of people and stoned with aluminum cans, “ said a woman who did not want to give her name. “That’s satisfaction, that’s justice, the whole nine yards."
Emotions run high for this Dinwiddie legend, with the "Can Man’s" murder recycling old fears but his spirit, perhaps renewing a community’s faith.
"it's horrible, you know,” said Mindy Perkinson. “He was a fixture and stuff like that doesn't happen here."
Court records show Michael Elmore was convicted of grand larceny in 2010 and sentenced to 10 years in prison, but a judge suspended all ten years.
The money from cans collected will go to Carter's family to help pay for medical bills and funeral expenses.