Local News

Prosecutors Plan To Seek Death Penalty In Woman's Slaying

Posted September 6, 2006
Updated December 31, 2006

— Police on Tuesday issued a warrant charging a Garner man with murder in the death of a Wendell woman whose body was found last week after she had been missing for 10 days.

Antonio Davon Chance, 29, already had been charged with kidnapping in connection with the disappearance of Cynthia Moreland. Police said their investigation hasn't produced indications that anyone else was involved in the crimes.

Wake County prosecutors already have filed notice that they plan to seek the death penalty in the case.

Moreland, 48, was last seen early on Aug. 22, when she dropped her husband off at work. She drove to a downtown Raleigh parking garage but never reported to work at Progress Energy.

Her abandoned car was found the next day in southeast Raleigh.

Chance was arrested on Aug. 24 and charged with kidnapping. Police said a surveillance tape from a Raleigh discount store showed him trying to use Moreland's debit card shortly after her disappearance. Investigators also traced Moreland's cell phone back to Chance.

Moreland's body was found last Friday behind an abandoned barn in rural Harnett County. No cause of death has been released.

"The break in the case was, unfortunately, the finding of those remains on Friday, and that helped put a lot of pieces together," said Jim Sughrue, spokesman for the Raleigh Police Department.

Police declined to say what evidence links Chance to the slaying. But they noted he was convicted of a sex crime in 1994, the year the state started requiring sex offenders to submit a DNA sample for a state database.

WRAL knows of only one eyewitness in the case. Police said she saw a vehicle that looked like Moreland's being driven by a black male with a woman in the front passenger seat. It's the only witness police have publicly discussed.

Moreland's husband, Walter, told WRAL Tuesday that he wouldn't be relieved until the case goes through the justice system. Still, he said even a conviction wouldn't make his family whole again.

"Whatever the justice system decides, God has the last word," Walter Moreland said.

Cynthia Moreland's funeral will be at 1 p.m. Saturday at Mt. Calvary Word of Faith, at 3100 Sanderford Road in Raleigh. A visitation will be held from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Friday at Mount Peace Baptist Church, at 1601 Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard in Raleigh.

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