Suspect in 13-year-old cold case appears in Carteret County Court

BEAUFORT, N.C. (WITN) – After 13 years of unanswered questions, Robert Eiskant was in court Tuesday morning, charged with murder.

Police say that Eiksant shot 41-year-old Johnny Salter twice in his Ross Lane mobile home in Atlantic on December 11, 2010, killing him.

For Salter’s brother and his wife, this is another in a string of tragedies for them. Their older daughter was stabbed and killed, a case that remains unsolved, and their younger daughter was killed by a drunk driver.

“It’s something everybody says you’ll get over it…no. You don’t get over it. You just exist,” said Janice Hamilton, Salter’s sister-in-law

However, they say it truly feels good to finally see Eiskant arrested and in court.

“I just want to see him when they slam the doors in his face, and say this is it for you, you took a guy’s life. Now, you are not going to have a life,” Hamilton added.

According to Sheriff Asa Buck, Eiskant worked with Salter’s uncle and the two men were in an argument just hours before Salter was killed.

Sheriff Buck described the process that led to the arrest as old-fashioned, traditional police work that was finally, and carefully pieced together.

“We don’t get to hit the pause button and rewind, we don’t get a do-over,” Buck said. “If we bring a criminal case in front of 12 jurors and they find him not guilty, that’s it.”

Eiksant was living in Charleston, South Carolina when he was arrested.

The Hamilton’s say Johnny enjoyed drinking and was good company to others, so they keep that spirit and energy around with them.

Neil Hamilton, Salter’s brother pulled out a liquor bottle and explained, “That (inside) is his ashes from when he was cremated and that’s a picture of him when he was over by the banks, of course holding up a beer.”