Report: Patio door was unlocked in North Hills slaying
Posted June 24, 2013
Raleigh, N.C. — An investigative report released Monday provides more details in the brutal killing of a woman found dead last month in her North Hills-area apartment.
Melissa Huggins-Jones, 30, was beaten to death May 14 in the Allister North Hills Apartments complex, inside Interstate 440 off Six Forks Road in Raleigh. She had moved to Raleigh from Tennessee with her 8-year-old daughter a few weeks earlier.
The investigative report in the medical examiner's autopsy report states that the daughter awoke to screaming at about 5:30 a.m. May 14, but she went back to sleep, thinking the noise was from an adjacent apartment.
When the girl got up about two hours later, she found her mother in bed covered with blood, and she sought help from some construction workers nearby, according to the report.
Police didn't find any possible murder weapon in the apartment, but they found a patio door unlocked and footprints inside that door, the report states. A model apartment for the complex, which was located below Huggins-Jones' apartment, also had been broken into, according to the report.
Search warrants released three weeks ago said police found DNA evidence linking the two break-ins, and they tracked a Lenovo laptop that was stolen from the model apartment.
Ronald Lee Anthony, 23, of 1800 S. Bloodworth St., Raleigh, Travion Devonte Smith, 20, of Raleigh, and Sarah Rene Redden, 18, of 3209 Scotch Pine Trail, Wake Forest, were arrested May 22 on charges of first-degree murder. They were indicted by a grand jury earlier this month.
Investigators have said they believe the suspects tried to burglarize her apartment.