A 17-year-old is suspected of murdering of two North Carolina teenagers whose bullet-riddled bodies were found on a trail earlier this week, authorities announced Tuesday.
The Orange County Sheriff’s Office filed a petition charging the unnamed suspect with two counts of first-degree murder in the slaying of 14-year-old Lyric Woods and 18-year-old Devin Clark — two days after their bodies were found near a power-line easement.
“Through the hard work of my investigators, along with the assistance of personnel from many other law enforcement agencies, we have identified a suspect in this case,” Sheriff Charles Blackwood said in a statement.
“We will now work with local, state, and federal authorities to apprehend and present the suspect to the court system.”
In North Carolina, 16- and 17-year-old criminals are not automatically tried as adults, but a case could be transferred to a superior court if there is probable cause or notice of indictment, the sheriff said.
Woods, a freshman at Cedar Ridge High School in Hillsborough, was reported missing by her stepfather Saturday afternoon after he noticed she wasn’t in her room. A police dog had tracked the 14-year-old’d scent through the woods and a neighbor allegedly saw her get into someone’s car at 3 a.m. Saturday, authorities said.
Clark, a senior and football player at Eastern Alamance High School in Mebane, was reported missing by his family Sunday, shortly before his body was found.
A person who lives near the crime scene reported hearing at least 15 gunshots that night.
Officials have not disclosed whether the victims knew one another, though their families said the two were friends.
A memorial with crosses, candles, lights and other items has been set up at the site by community members, friends and family. On Monday evening, there was a memorial service for Clark at Eastern Alamance High School.
Woods’ grandfather had been offering a reward for the capture of the killer.
“$ 10,000.00 reward to the capture of the ones responsible for my granddaughter’s murder! Cash! I need results!” Stan Dean wrote on Facebook.