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Warrant: $150,000 in cash found in Durham murder suspect’s Cary apartment

March 15, 2019 GMT

Police investigating a contract killing in Durham last summer found more than $150,000 in cash stashed in a luxury apartment in Cary where one of the suspects in the case lived, according to a recently released search warrant.

The body of Ly Teng Nhiayi, 32, was found inside a car that had been set ablaze in the 5000 block of Guardian Drive on July 26. The car was parked on a dead-end road near a wooded area that borders Interstate 40.

An autopsy determined that Nhiayi had been shot in the back of the head.

Nhiayi’s family told police that he acted as a go-between for marijuana growers in California and dealers in North Carolina and that he likely was killed because of a beef with a Triangle dealer over a missing load of weed, according to a previous search warrant in the case.

Derrick Tyson, 40, of Bear Creek, Walter Thorne-Price, 29, of Durham, Reginald McClain, 28, also of Durham, and his brother, Joshua Bernard McClain, 27, have been charged with murder in Nhiayi’s death.

Reginald McClain lived with his girlfriend at The Arboretum, a high-end retail and residential complex off Weston Parkway that sits across North Harrison Avenue from SAS Institute’s campus in Cary, according to an application for a warrant to search their apartment.

“Investigators know from [their] training and experience that mid- to high-level drug dealers prefer to live outside of the city in high-end apartment complexes to avoid detection from law enforcement and robbery from other drug dealers,” the warrant application states.

Investigators stated in the application that they believe Tyson hired the others to kill Nhiayi and likely paid them with drugs, so they wanted to search the apartment for evidence of that payment and any other evidence linking Reginald McClain to the murder.

Police found $50,000 in cash hidden in a chip bag in the pantry, another $50,000 in a Gucci bag in the master bedroom, $49,705 in a kitchen drawer, $3,439 in a SunTrust bank bag in a desk and $322 in a pair of pants lying on the bed in the master bedroom, according to the search warrant.

A Glock handgun was taken from under the mattress in the master bedroom, and a second Glock was found in a woman’s purse in the bedroom. A 9mm Glock magazine and a magazine of .40-caliber ammunition also were seized.

An undisclosed amount of marijuana, two laptop computers, other electronics and luxury merchandise, such as Gucci flip-flops, also were taken from the apartment, according to the search warrant.

The search was conducted in September, but the warrant was sealed until this month to protect the investigation. None of the four suspects was arrested until after the search.