DUPLIN COUNTY - The man who was beaten by two robbers early last month died Thursday after a family friend said he had a massive heart attack.
According to the family friend, Levy Harrell, 80, had the heart attack earlier this week. The friend says he was transported back to Vidant Medical Center and was put on life support. Doctors removed his respirator sometime Thursday evening, the friend said.
Harrell's sister, Lena Harper, believes his death was the result of the robbers' attack.
"They won't die normal," Harper said. "They won't burn in hell normal, either. There's a hotter place than that for them. I know there is."
Glenda Wadsworth, Harrell's daughter, hopes someone who has information about the assault will come forward.
"It's very unfair that they can go do what they did and get away with it," Wadsworth said. "I'm just hoping somebody knows something and will come forward. So justice can be served, and he can rest in peace."
She remembers Harrell as a man who would never do anyone wrong.
"He was everything to me," Wadsworth said. "The three of us -- me, my husband and him spent every holiday together -- just the three of us. Every Christmas, Thanksgiving, just the three of us together, and now he's gone. Nothing's ever going to be the same with him gone."
Duplin County Sheriff's deputies are offering a $1,500 reward for information leading to the suspects' arrests.
Levy Harrell was asleep when he says two men broke into his home and beat him repetitively while robbing him.
Those two men are still unidentified and on the loose.
It was July 7th when Harrell nodded off on his couch inside the home he built himself and has lived in for 44 years. He says two men broke through his front door and started hitting him. "There wasn't nothing I could do, I looked up and he was standing over me," he said. "And I don't know what he had in his hand, but he hit me again."
Harrell says he kept getting hit. At that time "I was going in and out. But most of the time I was awake," he said. "It about knocked me out and I just rolled over and played like I was dead. And he hit me one more time."
Harrell says doctors told him he's lucky to have survived. "They could have killed me easily just laying there like that," said Harrell.
Now he's trying to get back to the way things were the 44 years before he was brutally attacked and robbed. "I just sit around here, wait and see what's gonna happen," he said. "I feel lucky to be alive."
Deputies say since it was so dark, Harrell was unable to give a description of his assailants. They're asking for anyone with information on the incident to please contact the Duplin County Sheriff's Office.