SBI INVESTIGATES SEX CRIME EMAILS TARGETING ASHEBORO MAN
January 31, 2020
ASHEBORO — Asheboro Police have called for the NC State Bureau of Investigation to take over a local investigation into a bizarre case linked to an Asheboro resident.
Over the past month, emails and news tips from a messenger claiming to be a man named David Matthew Cleaver have been sent to local television news stations and newspapers, including The Courier-Tribune.
The emails are filled with “confessions” from a person who police believe is not Cleaver. In one email, the messenger admits to sexually abusing more than 120 children in North Carolina.
In another, he or she claims to have abducted and molested a 15-year-old girl.
“There are people that live inside me that won’t allow me to confess in person so this is my confession,” one email states. “I have the desire to hurt someone else and I am looking for my next victim.”
According to Capt. Richard Thompson with the Asheboro Police Department, police have been alerted to at least seven or eight of these emails being sent.
Each time a new email from “Cleaver” is sent, police thoroughly investigate the claims in the message. Many of the crimes that are alleged are reported to have taken place outside of Asheboro, so multiple law enforcement agencies in different jurisdictions have been involved throughout the case.
“We’ve been in contact with the SBI regarding all of these,” Thompson said. “We’re getting all these anonymous tips. The crimes are not even alleged to have happened here in the city. It’s just that he happens to live here in the city.
“We’re still following them up, though.”
The NC SBI took over the investigation last week, but continues to work closely with Asheboro Police. It’s been a multi-agency effort, Thompson said.
The real David Matthew Cleaver has been in touch with the police throughout their investigation. They’ve searched his home and interviewed him on multiple occasions.
“We don’t suspect him at all. He’s actually reached out to us,” Thompson said. “He was fairly cooperative on the first tip and when these things kept coming in.”
Despite Cleaver being cleared from the specific crimes that the emails allege, he was recently arrested for an unrelated crime.
While meeting with Asheboro Police on Wednesday, Jan. 29, members from the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office arrived in Asheboro and served Cleaver, 45, 1719 N. Fayetteville St., Asheboro, with a warrant for arrest and transported him to the Rowan County Detention Center.
The warrant for arrest charges Cleaver with indecent liberties with a child and first-degree sexual offense involving a victim under the age of 13.
According to Capt. John Sifford with the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office, the incident that resulted in the charges on Cleaver occurred in 2011 to 2012 in Rowan County, and involved a female juvenile whose family was friends with Cleaver at that time.
Cleaver is in custody in Rowan County under a $50,000 secured bond.
A record search of Cleaver reveals that he was also charged with indecent liberties with a child in 2014.
Despite Cleaver being a suspect in this incident, Thompson said they have no reason to believe he is involved in the crimes that are listed in the emails being sent to news outlets.
“Right now, the SBI is still investigating,” Thompson said.
While the SBI does have a suspect, Thompson said police are not naming anyone or releasing any information on that suspect at this time.
Message from Executive Director Laura A. Ahearn: Please visit our website at www.crimevictimscenter.org for news, information and resources in your community.
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