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Friends, family say slain teen was 'good girl'

Posted March 28, 2015
Updated March 30, 2015

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— Someone checking out a vacant home on Durham’s Trotter Ridge Road on Saturday discovered the body of a young woman in the backyard, police said.

Durham police on Sunday identified the body as 17-year-old Tierra Hall of the 4200 block of Garrett Road. They did not say how she died, but the case is being investigated as a homicide.

Hall had not been reporting missing, a police spokeswoman said. Investigators are still trying to determine how long her body had been behind the home.

John Deberry, who lives next door to the home where Hall was found, thinks the girl could not have been there more than a day because people were looking at the house Thursday.

"Such a beautiful young girl to have her life taken so early on," Deberry said, describing the massive police presence at the crime scene.

At Oak Creek Village apartments where Hall lived, her best friend, Mya Wilson, cried as she talked about the "bubbly and funny" girl who was sophomore at Jordan High School.

They last talked to each other Wednesday. A classmate on Twitter mentioned seeing Hall in school on Friday.

"She always made everybody laugh," Wilson said. "She didn't do anything to anybody, so whoever did this, they did it to somebody who would never hurt anybody."

Wilson's mother, Tamica Hargro, echoed the sentiment.

"Everybody is confused because this is not the kid that anybody would have any reason to do anything to," she said, crying.

Wilson said Hall, who moved to the area from Texas, didn't have friends in the neighborhood where her body was found.

Hall's family declined to comment Sunday, but her mother said she wanted people to know her as the good girl she was. On a post to WRAL's Facebook page, her mother wrote, "This was my daughter. If anything, just pray for her and myself. Thank you."

Police initially reported the case as a "suspicious death."

"Any time you have somebody who has died behind a house, it's not a normal circumstance and we have to look into it," Durham Police Chief Jose Lopez said Saturday. "It's really unusual for this neighborhood for it to occur, so we are investigating it."

The house is currently under contract and according to the real estate agent, there had not been any scheduled showings in the last two weeks.

Deberry, who has lived in the neighborhood since 1992, said the homeowner moved to Texas several years ago and had been renting out the house before deciding to sell it. He said the neighborhood is quiet and safe, although his car was among several that were broken into Sunday night.

13 Comments

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  • Jyllian Abrie Mar 30, 2015
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    you should be ashamed of yourself
    when was the last time a homeless person was arrested for murder?

  • Sarcoi Dosis Mar 30, 2015
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    Keep in mind that this may have only been a Drop Site, not where the actual crime took place. Hopefully more details become available soon.

  • Kim Kerns Mar 30, 2015
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    If there had been no scheduled showings in the past 2 weeks who was there looking at the house on Thursday then? The neighbor stated that there were folks looking on Thursday. Seems odd to me.

  • Phil Larson Mar 30, 2015
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    Your innuendo reeks of racism.

  • Sarcoi Dosis Mar 30, 2015
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    Girls love to do the tough looking, troubled girl selfie pics. I know, I have a 17 year old.

    A more traditional pose might be more appropriate for this sad story.

    Not sure I'd want my daughter's Selfie poses published at such a sad time.

  • Al Carson Mar 30, 2015
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    Stay tuned. More to come on this.

  • Clovis Sangrail Mar 30, 2015
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    Durham Police Chief Jose Lopez said Saturday. "It's really unusual for this neighborhood for it to occur, so we are investigating it."He explained...

  • Sammy Macloud Mar 30, 2015
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    17, turned up dead and NOT reported missing????? Sad

    Condolences to the friends and family.

  • Dan Owen Mar 29, 2015
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    You must not know the streets... Its not homeless folks beating people to death, its these kids. Anybody can get hit wrong in a gang initiation like getting jumped in.. and die.

  • Anne Havisham Mar 29, 2015
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    How dreadful.

    My best thoughts are with this young woman's family, friends, classmates, and teachers.

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