A 17-year-old is suspected of murdering 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 slayings of 14-year-old Lyric Woods and 18-year-old Devin Clark — two days after the bodies of the two friends 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’s 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.
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.