Teen found shot to death in field

Published 1:51 pm Sunday, February 12, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

GARYSBURG – A 17-year-old girl who had been missing since Tuesday was found deceased Friday afternoon in a field in the Garysburg area of Northampton County and the boyfriend of the teen’s mother has been charged with her murder.

Marquette Douglas

Roanoke Rapids Police Chief Bobby Martin said around 3 p.m. on Friday that officers, acting on a tip, searched an area along Old Highway and found Quameisha Dashay Branch. Initial investigation shows that Branch died of an apparent gunshot wound to the head.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family of the deceased victim,” the police chief said.

A murder warrant was obtained for the arrest of 27-year-old Marquette Douglas of Garysburg, who Martin described as the reputed boyfriend of Branch’s mother. Douglas surrendered to the Halifax County Sheriff’s Office later on Friday. He is jailed without the opportunity of bond and scheduled for a court appearance on Monday (Feb. 13).

Martin declined to comment on the circumstances which led to the girl’s death but did say, “I feel like this death was needless. I feel like it could have been avoided.”

Martin said while investigators are awaiting a medical examiner’s report to establish a time of death, investigators are leaning to the possibility Branch was killed on the date the missing person report was filed.

Branch was last seen in the downtown area of Roanoke Rapids at around 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday (Feb. 7).

Martin said the Garysburg Police Department and Northampton County Sheriff’s Office have assisted Roanoke Rapids officers in the investigation.

(Lance Martin is the Editor and Publisher of www.rrspin.com. Permission was received to publish this story.)