Local News

Sources: NCCU Slaying Probe Leads Police to Greensboro

Posted January 8, 2007
Updated January 9, 2007

— Detectives investigating the shooting death of a North Carolina Central University student are shifting their focus to the Triad.

Sources told WRAL Monday evening that search warrants connected with the shooting death of Denita Monique Smith were served Monday in Greensboro, but a Durham Police Department spokesperson would not confirm that.

Authorities said Smith, 25, a graduate student from Charlotte, was shot inside a stairwell of the Campus Crossing Apartments Thursday morning and then fell down several steps to the sidewalk.

A maintenance worker at the apartment complex found her body.

Durham police did say, however, that their investigators have spent the last four days interviewing more than a dozen people, including Smith's family members, friends and neighbors. They are steadily moving forward with the case, authorities said.

"It's still being actively investigated, and every day, we get a little bit closer," said Cpl. David Addison with the Durham Police Department. "Are we close to making an arrest? We don't know at this point. We're still following up on leads."

Police still have not named any suspects in the case, but did spend several hours on Friday interviewing a person of interest in the case. Police said witnesses saw a woman driving away from the apartment complex in a burgundy Ford Explorer less than two hours before Smith's body was found.

They would not release the woman's name or say what the relationship between her and Smith is.

Anyone with information about the case should contact the Durham Police Department at 919-560-4440 or Durham CrimeStoppers at 919-683-1200.

At N.C. Central, students returning from winter break were trying to understand what happened.

"I just broke down and cried and said, 'Not my Denita, not my Denita,'" said Rony Camille, editor of N.C. Central's student newspaper, The Campus Echo, for which Smith was a longtime staff member

A tribute to her life was published in Monday's online edition Monday and will be published in the print edition later this week.

"I really was shocked, because this is family," Camille said.

University officials said Smith received a bachelor's degree in English from N.C. Central and had planned to wrap up her thesis this semester. She was also engaged to a Greensboro police officer.

Her funeral is scheduled for 2 p.m. Thursday at University Park Baptist Church in Charlotte.  A memorial service for Smith is scheduled Tuesday, Jan. 16 at B.N. Duke Auditorium at N.C. Central.

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  • surferbabe2005 Jan 9, 2007

    this really makes me want to go to state...NOT

  • methinks Jan 9, 2007

    Geo is right to a certain extent. Nifong has let this case slip. But then again, who wants him on this case. He already screwed up the lives of three young men without ever speaking directly to the "victim". I really would hate to see a murder(s) walk becuase of his, and the police departments, inability to do the job correctly. Maybe someone else should investigate this murder. Look how bad Durham messed up with an alleged rape.

  • Tired of thoughtlessness Jan 9, 2007

    geowilrlst -
    What are you talking about? This article is about the death of an NCCU student.

  • rukiddingme Jan 9, 2007

    Geo, why cant the Lacrosse fiasco die down? You obviously have a one-track mind. This was a tragedy that has nothing to do with that!!!

  • diwanicki Jan 9, 2007

    My thoughts and prayers go out to the family.

  • coreyforbes Jan 9, 2007

    It is my hope that the Durham Police solve and bring to justice the murderer(s). I hope her family finds the strength to come together to make through this tragedy.

  • geowilrlst Jan 9, 2007

    Looks like it is time for Mr. Nifong to solve this case and file some charges ! It has been over 4 days and I'm sure he will want this resolved as quickley as he declaired the Lacrose case a " Done Deal " !

  • Teacher4LIFE Jan 8, 2007

    I pray that the Durham police can solve this crime. This is another senseless and uncalled murder. It is time for this madness to stop. No one will ever make sense of this whether the case is solved or not but the family deserves closure.
    God Bless the family. I know from personal experience what this family is going through. Unfortunately my love one's murder was never solved.

  • latanya512 Jan 8, 2007

    Another young, beautiful, intelligent princess being taken from this earth before her time. I hope whomever has done this begs for forgiveness. I pray for her fiancee and family.

  • Autumn Jan 8, 2007

    What a terrible loss to Denita's family and friends. Even though I didn't know her, I feel like I did. I hope the police find some answers soon.