Saint Pauls, N.C. — Fayetteville police charged a man Tuesday evening in connection with a 24-year-old woman's disappearance, after authorities found a set of human remains in Robeson County.
Investigators believe the remains are those of Erica Cherie Gainey, who was last seen June 28 leaving her Fayetteville home with 44-year-old Terry Dale Robinson.
Robinson faces first-degree murder and first-degree kidnapping charges in connection with her disappearance.
Robeson County Sheriff Kenneth Sealey said the remains were found at about 10 a.m. off Britt Road, east of Saint Pauls. They were sent to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Chapel Hill for positive identification.
Sealey would not comment on who discovered the remains.
Investigators have said that Robinson was spotted at a Family Dollar store in the Sampson County town of Harrells – 40 miles away – buying bleach and moth balls about seven hours after Gainey was last seen. He was driving her Elantra, which has a Nebraska tag, police said.
Gainey's mother, Dawn Kime, said her daughter has known Robinson for several years, that he was her landlord and routinely paid her bills, but that Gainey never wanted a relationship with him.
According to police records, Robinson was arrested on a domestic violence charge in June, and Kime said Gainey picked him up from jail the following day.
Robinson told WRAL News last month that his "heart is heavy" over Gainey's disappearance.
“This is all overwhelming for me. It’s taking its toll the way everybody has been coming to me,” he said in a July 13 telephone interview, declining to comment further without his attorney. "I just hope and pray this has a positive result."
State Department of Correction records show that Robinson was convicted in 1989 for assaulting his estranged wife and served six years in prison. She spent more than two years in a coma before dying, and state law at the time precluded him from being charged with murder since her death occurred so long after the assault.