Body found, fourth arrest made in case of kidnapped Goldsboro teen
Posted September 22, 2012
Goldsboro, N.C. — One of four men suspected of kidnapping a Goldsboro teenager nearly two weeks ago led authorities to remains that police believe are those of the missing teen, his mother said Saturday.
Goldsboro police said they found remains they believe belong to Kennedy "Ken" Fitzgerald McLaurin Jr., 16, buried on a remote farm near Seven Springs late Saturday morning. Police had searched the area Friday.
"I've got peace of mind. Now I know for sure, and I'm dealing with it," McLaurin's mother, Kim Best, said.
Ken McLaurin Sr. said that he is relieved that all four suspects in his son's death are in jail, and he is waiting for more answers, including a positive identification and the results of an autopsy by the state Medical Examiner's Office.
The fourth suspect — Curtis Omar Etheredge, 17, of 113 Biltmore Drive — surrendered to police early Saturday afternoon. The other three suspects – Jerome Jilah Butts, 19, of 186 Sandstone Drive, Leonard Eugene Joyner, 21, of 104 Cotton Field Drive, and Kevin Edward Smith, 18, of 200 Marlette Drive — had already been taken into custody.
All four men are charged with murder and being held in the Wayne County jail without bond.
McLaurin was last seen on Sept. 9 being forced by at least three men into a 1990s Oldsmobile in the 700 block of Bain Street in the Woodcrest Housing Community, where he lived, police said.
Police have not commented on a motive, but investigators have said the crime was neither gang-related nor random.