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Body found, fourth arrest made in case of kidnapped Goldsboro teen

Posted September 22, 2012

— 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.

Kennedy McLaurin Body believed to be kidnapped Goldsboro teen

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.


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  • esprg Sep 28, 2012

    Ditto that Scubagirl

  • Scubagirl Sep 26, 2012

    "You don’t know the circumstances of this crime, "

    Here's what we DO know.

    1) a boy is dead

    2) another guy showed the LEOs where the body was

    3) others are in custody for the murder

    That's ALL the circumstances I need to know. Nothing justifies killing someone-not even drugs

  • pedsRN Sep 24, 2012

    So hard to understand WHY these men took this young life. Sympathy to the family.

  • charmcclainlovesdogs2 Sep 24, 2012

    Hoping that justice will be served in this murder. I do believe they all possibly had a hand in this young 16 year old's murder. If that is the case, then the courts should give them all life in prison without parole. The young man's life was not their decision to take. More than likely it was over nothing.

  • mfarmer1 Sep 24, 2012

    I think they all will be charged with a hate crime.

  • Ven Sep 24, 2012

    Praying for all the families. There is NO REASON that justifies this behavior, so we can all stop searching for one. ..doing so is really for someone to somehow compartmentalize these behaviors and perhaps make us feel better about ourselves (e.g., ‘I would never do that’, ‘we would never do that’, ‘my kids would never do that’).

  • WageSlave Sep 24, 2012

    Have you noticed the ones who order us to pray are the ones who tell us what we are and are not allowed to think about the stories?

    Its a organised religion thing. They are used to reading literature then telling you what to interpret from it and then live by. But only the parts of literature that are convenient.

  • nowon_yuno Sep 24, 2012

    Dusty looking crew

  • storchheim Sep 24, 2012

    Have you noticed the ones who order us to pray are the ones who tell us what we are and are not allowed to think about the stories?

  • HugsFromGB Sep 24, 2012

    Amen Father-T. I am in full agreement with you there. Instead of bashing people take time to pray for them. Pray not only for Ken's family, but also for the families of the 4 boys accused. 5 families right now need some divine hope and healing.