A 17-year-old is expected to face murder charges for the deaths of two other North Carolina teenagers who were along a trail after being reported missing by their families.
The suspect is not in custody, but authorities have filed a petition — which initiates a juvenile court case — to charge the unnamed individual with two counts of murder, according to a news release from the Orange County Sheriff’s Office. The teen's name has not been released because the suspect is a minor. Authorities have not revealed a possible motive.
"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 the news release. "We will now work with local, state, and federal authorities to apprehend and present the suspect to the court system."
The bodies of Lyric Woods, 14, and Devin Clark, 18, were discovered Sunday by ATV drivers on a trail in Orange County near Woods' home in Hillsborough. They were each reported missing over the weekend by their families.
The medical examiner’s office has not officially stated their causes of death, but the Orange County Sheriff's Office has said they had suffered what appeared to be gunshot wounds.
Woods was a freshman at Cedar Ridge High School in Hillsborough, while Clark was a senior at Eastern Alamance High School in Mebane. It's not clear that the two teens knew one another.
“I want to thank the families of Devin Clark and Lyric Woods for trusting us and the investigative process during this excruciatingly painful time,” Blackwood said. “I hope the apprehension of this subject will bring them some comfort as they mourn their loved ones”
The murders have shocked and devastated the community.
Clark’s mother, Tiffany Concepcion — who goes by Shant’ae Concepcion on social media — posted on Facebook Live after authorities announced that they had a suspect, according to FOX News.
“At this point I just wanted justice for Devin Clark and Lyric Woods,” she said. “I want to find out who this… juvenile is. He had to be angry at someone … He had a lot of anger in him, and I pray for him and his family.”
She later added: “I feel bad for this juvenile’s parents … so, at the end of the day, I pray for everything that’s going on and everybody that’s in this situation.”
Woods' grandfather, Stan Dean, had offered a $10,000 reward to anyone with information that leads to an arrest.
He placed a cross surrounded by flowers at the spot where the teens’ bodies were found. He added lights to the cross because Lyric was afraid of the dark, the Charlotte Observer reported.
“I’m living a nightmare,” he told the newspaper. “The minutes are too long. We’re just taking it breath by breath.”
He said that he and his granddaughter had gone for ice cream at a local shop shortly before her disappearance.
“It just doesn’t make sense,” he said about her murder.
The investigation remains active. Anyone with additional information is asked to call Investigator Keith Goodwin at (919) 245-2918.