ASHEVILLE - One of the biggest and most disturbing local mysteries in decades is set to come to an end.
An attorney for Robert Jason Owens, the man accused of murdering teenager Zebb Quinn who disappeared more than two decades ago, says she expects the case to be settled July 11.
Owens is scheduled to appear that day in Buncombe County Superior Court, according to the public motions and pleas calendar. He was charged in 2017 with the first-degree murder of Quinn, an acquaintance, who was 18 when he went missing.
“We hope to resolve this case Monday morning,” North Carolina Assistant Capital Defender Victoria Jayne said when asked about the court date.
Reached July 7, District Attorney Todd Williams said he "can't confirm," the case will conclude.
The Citizen Times has reached out to Quinn's mother, Denise Vlahakis.
Previous coverage: Robert Jason Owens indicted in Zebb Quinn homicide
At the time he was charged, Owens was already incarcerated after being convicted for the 2015 murders of Cristie Schoen Codd, Joseph “J.T.” Codd and their unborn child at their Leicester home. Owens, 42, was sentenced in 2017 to a minimum of 59.5 years to a maximum of 74.5 years in prison without the possibility of parole.
After Quinn’s disappearance almost 23 years ago, Owens was among those named as persons of interest by Asheville police.
In 2015, a few months after Owens’ arrest in the Codds case, officers searched a portion of Bent Creek Experimental Forest, part of Pisgah National Forest near Asheville.
Related coverage: Owens pleads guilty to Codd killings, avoids death penalty
In court documents, Jayne and Sean Devereux, an Asheville attorney who is part of Owens' defense team, said he told them about Quinn’s fate shortly after they were appointed to defend him in the Codds’ case.
Owens told them a family member, whom neither the defense nor the prosecution name in official documents, killed Quinn and then dismembered him and burned the remains, they said.
Jayne and Devereux said they gave prosecutors and law enforcement a "detailed account of Quinn's death," including evidence might be found in Bent Creek, they said.
Joel Burgess has lived in WNC for more than 20 years, covering politics, government and other news. He's written award-winning stories on topics ranging from gerrymandering to police use of force. Got a tip? Contact Burgess at firstname.lastname@example.org, 828-713-1095 or on Twitter @AVLreporter. Please help support this type of journalism with a subscription to the Citizen Times.
This article originally appeared on Asheville Citizen Times: Zebb Quinn disappearance case set for court; killed in forest?