Local News

Missing N.C. Central Student's Body Found Along I-540

Posted January 30, 2008
Updated January 31, 2008

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— A body found near Interstate 540 Wednesday morning is that of a missing North Carolina Central University student whose husband reported her missing Wednesday morning.

A motorist traveling on I-540 saw the body of what appeared to be a black female on an embankment near Louisburg Road about 7:30 a.m. and called 911.

The body was identified late Wednesday afternoon as that of Latrese Matral Curtis, 21, of Raleigh. She was last seen leaving class at N.C. Central Tuesday night, according to a missing person's report.

Sheriff's investigators spent the day combing the area near the site of the body and surrounding areas. They are treating the case as a homicide, and do not have a suspect in custody.

"We don't know where this happened, how it happened, or what happened," Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison said.

Curtis' body was taken to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Chapel Hill for an autopsy. Her cause of death had not been determined.

About a quarter-mile away on the same side of the road, investigators also found a white Nissan Sentra registered to Curtis. Crime scene tape surrounded the vehicle as investigators searched it.

Curtis' husband was also at the scene Wednesday to speak with investigators, and authorities executed a search warrant on his car and at the couple's apartment.

N.C. Central released a statement Wednesday afternoon confirming Curtis was a student.

“The entire university community is saddened by the death of this student, and we offer sincere condolences to her family at this difficult time,” said Chancellor Charlie Nelms in the statement.

The investigation into Curtis' death is ongoing, Harrison said, and investigators asked that anyone who drove on I-540 late Tuesday night or early Wednesday and might have seen something related to the case to contact the sheriff's office.

"Anybody that saw something near Exit 18, please call us," Harrison said. "Anything that looked suspicious, an abandoned car – we'll take anything, any information we can to follow-up on."


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  • DonnaB Jan 31, 2008

    Cuteboyd, the most obvious conclusion for how he knew where to go, was that the police contacted him after her body was found.

    He reported her missing to the Durham police about 8:30 am. When the Durham police found out that a female body had been discovered in Raleigh, they did come to the scene to determine if this was the missing woman. Perhaps they asked the husband to meet them, or perhaps they escorted him to the site?

    Someone earlier was wondering why the husband didn't report his wife missing the night before. Okay, I'm going to go out on a limb here to find an explanation that will allow the husband to be innocent: Perhaps the husband works night shift, and she was normally gone to her day classes or day job by the time he got home in the mornings. In that case, he might not realize she hadn't been home the night before until he tried to call her later in the morning.

    Let's cut the husband some slack until more evidence turns up.

  • UpwardlyMobile Jan 31, 2008

    Lets not squabble over this. There is only one thing we know for sure - this young woman is dead and we don't know why. I hope the authorities figure out how this girl was killed and that all responsible parties are punished. So sad.

  • cuteboyd Jan 31, 2008

    My question to everyone is how did he know to come to that spot? Was he just out driving around and happened to see her car on the side of the road? I'm not judging but can't wait to hear more facts.

  • Space Mountain Jan 31, 2008

    There sure are a lot of crimes like this involving women lately. There is already the Durham mom who was killed two years ago that has not been solved. The pregnant Raleigh mom killed last year, and the pregnant mom that was killed delivery newspapers in Raleigh. All those cases are unsolved. It's getting crazy. I hope they find who did this. I think the husbands did two of those other murders and it's just hard getting the physical evidence to convict them. I don't know about the woman delivering the paper. This sounds strange, too, as if the husband might be involved. I just hope they can solve it for a change.

  • PaulRevere Jan 31, 2008

    "Her husband has done this..."

    Wow...this slanderous comment gets past GOLO editors, but my comment to Briar Creek residents to purchase a gun doesn't. WHATEVER!

    Anyways, the Nancy Grace's and Greta Van Sustern's of the world have spoiled the milk so much that we automatically assume it's the "evil husband or boyfriend". Although, statistically speaking, the husband would be a major suspect each case is obviously different, and he or whomever they arrest does have the constitutional protection of being innocent until the government can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that's guilty.

  • Dr. Dataclerk Jan 31, 2008

    I just hope the officials find who did this for the deceased girl's sake as well as for her family and friends. My condolences to the family. The Lord will never leave you alone and He will continually be with you through these times. Continue to put your Trust in Him. You are in my prayers.

  • seankelly15 Jan 31, 2008

    NCchick - You are posting pure speculation. Maybe the husband was involved - maybe not. But it doesn't help that you are posting speculation masquerading as fact. Yesterday, folks were commenting on the ‘ejection’ of a person from a wrecked car; commenting on what they thought was a man; commenting on the Durham police and their role in investigating a case that was on 540 in Wake County and so on.

  • Oct Jan 31, 2008

    As an example of how observant the average citizen is, my son took his girl friend (coming from the Knightdale area) to school at Wake Tech (she has to be there at 7:30) before coming to our house yesterday morning. That means they were driving along just before the body was discovered. They didn't notice anything out of the ordinary.

  • PikeMom4real Jan 31, 2008

    Investigators Search for Clues

    Don't step too far from the box,it's under your nose.

  • hollylama Jan 31, 2008

    Most of these stories are not accurate because the photo says that her car was a white Honda Civic when it was actually his car. Her car is the white Nissan which was found up the road. His car did not get there until he did. Once he was there with his car they taped it off and searched it. Him showing up meant he began a piece of evidence.