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911 Calls Offer New Insight Into N.C. Central Student's Death

Posted January 31, 2008
Updated February 1, 2008

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— A North Carolina Central University student found dead along Interstate 540 had called her husband to tell him she was on her way home from class Tuesday night and was going to stop to get something to eat, he told authorities in a 911 call obtained by WRAL.

"I talked to her (Tuesday) night when she was on her way home," Darin Curtis told the emergency dispatcher. "She was in the car and everything. She hasn't shown up since."

Latrese Matral Curtis, 21, called her husband about 10 p.m. Tuesday, Darin Curtis said in the 911 call. When she didn't return home, he called 911. Police said he filed a missing persons report at 8:25 a.m. Wednesday.

About an hour earlier, several motorists traveling on westbound I-540 called 911 to report a body on an embankment near Louisburg Road.

"I'm on 540 westbound, just past, I believe, the Buffaloe (Road) exit, about a mile before (U.S. Highway) 401," one caller said. "And I think there's a body on the side of the road. It's right behind the sign for 401."

"I think there's like somebody laying out on the side of the highway," another caller said. "There's a car pulled over. I just pulled over and said, 'Let me call the police, and let them just drive by and check.'"

Wake County investigators responded to the scene and found Latrese Curtis' body. She died of wounds apparently caused by a sharp object, authorities said.

They are treating the case as a homicide, Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison said. They have not identified a suspect.

Crime scene investigators spent Wednesday combing the embankment and areas around where they found the body. They also searched Curtis' Nissan Sentra, which was about a quarter-mile away on the same side of the interstate. That was the car her husband said she had driven to class.

Authorities also searched Darin Curtis's car and the couple's home on Wednesday and talked with family members through the night, looking for answers, family members said. A sheriff's deputy remained stationed outside the home Thursday.

Neighbors said they had not seen Darin Curtis return home since his wife's death.

Meanwhile on Thursday, at N.C. Central, where Curtis was a junior majoring in administration and management, grief counselors were on hand. Students said they were devastated by the news.

"For somebody to end up on the road like that – what are people thinking?" asked student Chadae Clark. "It makes me think we really need to get it together. The world is a real messed up place."

At Auston Grove Apartments in Raleigh, where Curtis and her husband live, neighbors also expressed shock at the 21-year-old's death.

"It was devastating, I was devastated – for someone that young who had their life taken away," said Tanya Shields, who lives across from the Curtises. "I have daughters, so that really hurt."

Investigators want 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 at 919-856-6900.

90 Comments

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  • Spirit Warrior Woman - Rev. RB Feb 1, 4:24 p.m.

    Sounds like a marital thing, doesn't it.

    Course that's just gossipping and has no value.

    Praying for the young lady's loved ones.

    God bless.

    Rev. RB

  • ratherbnnc Feb 1, 2:31 p.m.

    Okay all you Einsteins.. Lets try this scenario. Not that we really know the whole story or that we ever will. Instead of accusing the man or speculating or even to the point of starting a rumor mill as some seem to do here. Maybe, just maybe, this husband works all night? Then alas, he wouldnt know if she got home until the next morning.. Maybe thats a reasonable excuse instead of all you Kojaks rumormilling, speculating, hypothecating, or gossipicating about what ifs..

  • 0 Tolerance aka Ms.Turner Feb 1, 2:19 p.m.

    SUSPECT!
    That is what this entire case is, Traggic and SUSPECT. Many people say that they wouldn't freak out if their spouse didn't come home that night but at some point your going to check to see if they are on the couch or something.
    I will give him the benefit of the doubt that he MIGHT have called friends or family even though he didn't mention it to the 911 dispatcher. But again SUSPECT...I hope the police get to the bottom of this to give her family and friends some type of answers.

  • Bradley07 Feb 1, 1:47 p.m.

    I know you can't file a missing person's report for 24hrs but you can sure bet I'd be calling all over to friends, family, teachers, schools etc. I'd get in my car and go find my loved one myself in the interim. I sure wouldn't just "forget" about them.

  • pedsRN Feb 1, 12:50 p.m.

    I agree that it's strange that the husband didn't report her missing earlier. The only way my fiance would have not reported me missing until the next AM would be if he had fallen asleep before I got off work & hadn't reaized that I wasn't home.
    In addition, the way he mentions 540 in his 911 call seems fishy to me.

  • dtwfrog82 Feb 1, 12:11 p.m.

    i agree completely with you ncmickey...i thought the same things once i heard all of the 911 calls.

  • lovinlife2010 Feb 1, 11:49 a.m.

    I'm sorry ... but i think i may have been a little more worried to call the police BEFORE 8:30AM the NEXT morning after i talked to my husband/wife @ 10PM the night before!!!! I mean ... i don't know how marraiges normally work b/c i'm not married but i wouldn't be able to sleep until i know my significant other was home?? Seems a little suspicious to me!!!

  • ratherbnnc Feb 1, 10:41 a.m.

    I love some of you peopleS "Kojak" theories.. PLEASE! for god sakes.. keep your day jobs! HAHA

  • hywilson Feb 1, 10:38 a.m.

    Hayco-I believe the husband had to com eto the site to idendify her. I believe thats what I read earlier in the report. Thats also when police checked his car. So if im worng someone please correct me. I dont want things to be mixed up- I had to drive past all the mess the other morning and there that poor girl was coverd with a tarp. How sad. I sure hope her husband had nothing to do with it. Prayers go out to him and the family and friends of Letrese. God bless them all!!

  • baracus Feb 1, 10:32 a.m.

    hayco, I am pretty sure the second car mentioned earlier was the husbands, which he drove to the scene AFTER he called 911. The police taped it off to search it for evidence.

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