Local News

Deputies Arrest Suspect in N.C. Central Student's Slaying

Posted February 2, 2008
Updated February 4, 2008

— Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison announced that overnight deputies arrested a Durham man in connection with the slaying of a North Carolina Central University student.

The body of Latrese Matral Curtis, 21, was found Wednesday morning along westbound Interstate 540.

At about 1:15 a.m. Saturday, Robert Lee Adams Reaves, 43, of 19 Birchcrest Court, was arrested and charged with first-degree murder.

"I want to thank the media so much for what they have done in getting this message out to the public, because we received a lot of tips. I want to thank the public for what they did in giving those tips," Harrison said.

Curtis was last seen Tuesday night leaving class at North Carolina Central University. Motorists driving along I-540 discovered her body near Louisburg Road about an hour before her husband reported her missing to Durham police Wednesday morning.

Darin Curtis said in a call to Durham 911 that his wife had called him Tuesday at about 10 p.m. to tell him she was on her way home.

Durham police staked out Reaves' residence at 19 Birchcrest Court for several hours Friday night. Reaves was charged after being questioned by investigators at the Public Safety Center, Harrison said.

The sheriff said Reaves and the victim did know one another. He did not detail the nature of the connection but said that information would be forthcoming.

"Through the investigation, we have found out they had met each other, and we are still looking into that," Harrison said.

Harrison also thanked the state Highway Patrol, Durham and Raleigh police, N.C. Central security personnel, the United States Marshals Service and the City-County Bureau of Identification for their assistance.

Reaves pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of obtaining property by false pretenses in a Durham court in September 2005, court records show. He was ordered to pay $500 in restitution and a $100 fine, given community service and placed on a 12-month probation.

Reaves was charged with criminal sexual conduct Sept. 3, 1987, in Marlboro County, S.C. He was convicted of third-degree sex charges on Jan. 1, 1988.

He was also charged with simple assault and battery in 1982 in South Carolina.

Court records show that Reaves was charged again with first-degree criminal sexual conduct on July 13, 2002. That charge led to what court records described as a "non-conviction."

Reaves' first court appearance in Wake County was set for Monday.

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