Carter County Sheriff's Department


ELIZABETHTON — A North Carolina man was arrested by Carter County Sheriff’s Department deputies on Monday after investigators reported finding remains of a body in his car in the Fish Springs area.

Michael Louis Cadogan, 24, Whiteville, North Carolina, was charged with abuse of a corpse and could be possibly be facing homicide charges from the High Point, North Carolina, Police Department.

According to Carter County arrest warrant, Cadogan admitted in a Monday morning FaceTime conversation with a friend that he had killed his girlfriend, whom he identified as 19-year-old Gianna Rose Delgado.

The affidavit on the arrest warrant indicated the recipient of the phone call went to the Kingsport Police Department to report a possible murder. The witness said she had known Cadogan for about five years and that Cadogan lives in High Point. She said they sporadically communicated via social media apps, such as Snapchat.

The witness told Kingsport investigators that Cadogan called her at 5:30 a.m. Monday and requested help. After a brief conversation, the witness and Cadogan moved their conversation to FaceTime, which is capable of streaming live audio and video.

She told investigators that during the FaceTime conversation, Cadogan admitted killing Delgado. The witness said FaceTime video footage seemed to show a lifeless woman lying on the floor inside a residence. She said Cadogan admitted strangling Delgado due to an argument the two had over another man that he believed Delgado to be seeing.

The affidavit accompanying the arrest warrant said Cadogan made another call to the witness a short time later, and this time there was another person with the witness who made an audio recording of the second call. The warrant said Cadogan once again described killing Delgado and then went to Lowe’s and purchased a large tub, in which he placed Delgado’s body. He then placed the loaded tub into a white Dodge Caliber belonging to Delgado.

The arrest warrant affidavit said Cadogan made a third phone call to the witness, this time while she was in the presence of Kingsport police investigators.

This conversation was reportedly witnessed by an investigator. Cadogan allegedly said he cut off Delgado’s hair prior to placing her in the tub and stated he needed assistance in disposing of the vehicle belonging to Delgado, as well as Delgado’s body. During the conversation, Cadogan agreed to meet the witness at Fish Springs Marina in Carter County for the purpose of placing both the vehicle and the body into Watauga Lake.

Based on this information, Kingsport investigators contacted Carter County Sheriff’s Department investigators. The Carter County investigator then alerted road deputies to “be on the lookout” for a white Dodge Caliber in the Fish Springs area.

A deputy then conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle with a North Carolina license plate matching the description and identified the driver as Michael Cadogan.

Shortly after the stop, numerous Carter County investigators responded to the scene. The vehicle was reportedly registered to Gianna Delgado of High Point. The investigators could see into the vehicle and saw a large plastic tub that appeared to be large enough to contain a body. The tub had a lid on it and the contents could not be seen.

The officers advised Cadogan of his Miranda rights. The officers said he wanted a lawyer and denied permission for the vehicle to be searched.

The vehicle was then towed to a storage facility maintained by the sheriff’s department to await the execution of a search warrant. Once the search warrant was issued, the tote inside the car was opened and a woman’s body was found inside.

Cadogan was charged with abuse of a corpse. Cadogan, who is being held without bail in the Carter County Jail, is scheduled to answer the charge in Carter County Sessions Court on Wednesday morning.

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John Thompson covers Carter and Johnson counties for the Johnson City Press since 1998. He grew up in Washington County and graduated from University High and East Tennessee State University

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