UPDATE: Woman#8217;s body found

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 6, 2008

RICH SQUARE n An already sad incident ended tragically here early this morning (Tuesday).

Northampton County Sheriff Wardie Vincent said the body of Nekia Ann Hunter, 27, was found at an abandoned home near the intersection of U.S. 258 and N.C. 308, just south of Rich Square.

Hunter had been reported kidnapped from a residence on Stanford Street in Rich Square during the early morning hours Monday.

Rich Square Police Chief Bo Roye said he and deputies with the Northampton County Sheriff’s Office were dispatched to the residence on Stanford Street at approximately 2:45 a.m. There they found Ricky Harris, who had been stabbed and was reportedly bleeding profusely. Harris was transported to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital where he was listed in serious but stable condition on Monday.

Roye also said Hunter had been kidnapped from the residence and was missing along with her black 1995 Acura Integra.

The search for her began in earnest Monday afternoon, according to Vincent. At approximately 3:30 p.m. yesterday, the Northampton County Search Team, the North Carolina Highway Patrol helicopter and the Prison Emergency Response Team (PERT) began searching. Vincent also said a K-9 from Johnston County was brought in to be part of the effort.

The sheriff said the group concentrated their search on an area southeast of U.S. 258 and N.C. 308 after receiving information from a person of interest.

“We did several areas of grid searches,” Vincent said. “After talking more in depth with the person of interest, he gave us information about where the victim may be.”

The body of the victim was located at an abandoned home near the intersection of the two roads at approximately 3:30 a.m.

“She had been murdered and it was apparent she was abducted,” Vincent said. “We do not know the cause of death at this point, but there was obvious physical assault from the appearance of the body.”

Vincent said the body had been sent to Greenville for an autopsy.

The sheriff also reported Garland Maurice Fisher, 27, of Felton Place in Rich Square has been arrested and charged in the incident.

He is currently in the Northampton County Detention Center under a $500,000 bond charged with first degree kidnapping, first degree burglary, robbery with a dangerous weapon, assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill and attempted murder.

Vincent said warrants would be drawn in the next 24 hours for additional charges including first degree murder.

“We appreciate the help of the citizens who were instrumental in this case reaching this point,” Vincent said. “I can’t say enough how much we are thankful for their help.”

He also said he appreciated the support of local law enforcement and the state and federal agencies who assisted.