Three years after officials say a 17-year-old was shot and killed in Asheville, North Carolina, a suspect was arrested on the other side of the state, cops say.

Dionate Whitson, 23, of Asheville was arrested Aug. 10 on a first-degree murder charge in the killing of of Teylyn McAlpin in November 2020, Asheville police said in a news release.

On Nov. 28, 2020, police in Asheville responded to reports of shots fired near a baseball field and found McAlpin “suffering from multiple gunshot wounds,” the Citizen Times reported. He was taken to a hospital, where he died.

The Carolinas Regional Fugitive Task Force, which adopted the case in 2020, said Whitson had connections to Greenville, Charlotte and Asheville, as well as Atlanta, and said he could be “living among the homeless populations in those areas,” according to a news release from Kinston, North Carolina, police.

On Aug. 5, the Kinston Police Department was “conducting patrols in reference to suspicious activity,” the department said. That’s when officers encountered Whitson. He fled from officers, police said, and he tossed a firearm that officials later said was stolen.

The U.S. Marshals offered a $10,000 reward for information leading to Whitson’s arrest, according to the news release.

Police eventually arrested Whitson in Kinston during a traffic stop on Aug. 10. He was also wanted on a charge of possession of a stolen firearm out of Kinston.

Kinston is about 330 miles east of Asheville.

A 16-year-old has also been charged in connection with the case, WLOS reported, but the person’s name was not released because they were a minor.

The case was featured on an episode of In Pursuit with John Walsh.

After McAlpin’s death, his mother Javelin Duncan became an advocate for gun violence awareness. Duncan said her son was a new father and was about to graduate high school when he was shot and killed, according to WLOS.

She told WLOS that advocating for an end to gun violence has been part of her healing journey.

“It helps me knowing that I’m helping other mothers that are going through it and some mothers aren’t ready to speak out so I told them I’d be the voice,” she said, according to the outlet.

Whitson is being held at the Lenoir County Detention Center without bond, officials say.

“For nearly three years, the U.S. Marshals Service, along with their local, state, and federal partners across North Carolina, have sought to bring Whitson to justice and some peace of mind to Tey (McAlpin’s) loved ones,” U.S. Marshal for the Western District of North Carolina Terry Burgin said in Asheville police’s news release. ”That day has arrived, and freedom for his alleged killer has finally ended.”

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