Friends, family say slain teen was 'good girl'
Posted March 28, 2015
Updated March 30, 2015
Durham, N.C. — 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.