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Police: Woman was killed in apartment near North Hills

Posted May 14, 2013
Updated May 15, 2013

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— Police said they are treating the death of a Raleigh woman who was found covered in blood in her apartment near North Hills early Tuesday as a homicide.

An 8-year-old girl approached a construction crew working on the Allister North Hills Apartments complex, inside Interstate 440 off Six Forks Road, shortly after 7:30 a.m. to seek help for her mother, police said.

A construction worker then found the body of Melissa Dawn Huggins-Jones, 30, on a bed inside an apartment at 441 Allister Drive.

"There's blood everywhere," the worker told a 911 dispatcher. "I think it's too late for (CPR). ... She's cold as ice, ma'am, and there's no pulse."

Huggins-Jones moved to Raleigh about two weeks ago from Cleveland, Tenn., outside Chattanooga, where she had worked at First Tennessee Bank. Her former co-worker at the bank, Desha Maples, said Huggins-Jones sent her a text message around 11:30 p.m. Monday.

"She had a very hard Mother's Day because she was in Raleigh and her son was here," Maples said. "I told her to keep her chin up and that God had given her a new path."

Police said they had no suspects in the case, and they asked anyone with information to call Crime Stoppers at 919-834-4357.

Investigators declined to say whether anyone else lived in the apartment with Huggins-Jones and her daughter. The girl is staying with relatives, police said. Raleigh death Few details released in woman's death at Raleigh apartment

The building where the body was found is the only one occupied in Allister North Hills Apartments; the rest of the complex is under construction. Raleigh police spokesman Jim Sughrue said Wednesday that other residents in the building are staying in other places until investigators finish their work at the crime scene.

"You think you're in a really safe neighborhood, so it kind of makes you feel wary," said Connie Wood, who lives in the adjacent Ramblewood subdivision.

"You just want to be able to open the door and let your children run down the street, but that is not the feeling I'm having at the moment," said Ashley Gaylord, another Ramblewood resident and the wife of Raleigh City Councilman Bonner Gaylord.


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  • TeaBagOnLove May 15, 2013

    This is a really sad time for her family and everyone that knew her or her children. Anytime something like this happens, there are many people that will jump to speculate the who, why, when, how etc. The psychology of an act like this is hard to pin point without any facts or criminology details.

    Based on the limited description of the crime scene, there are many paths to go down investigation wise. The one question that I have is: Was there a sexual assault involved?

    The limited description of the crime scene gives little to go on. I am pretty certain the authorities have more than they are telling, or they would already be actively appealing to the public via TV and print for help.

  • luv2funrun May 15, 2013

    Start the search with the ex-husband.

  • JAT May 15, 2013

    a poster on WTVD said she had spent the weekend in Elizabethtown with her family. maybe someone saw her come back and waited for her to fall asleep? are there any houses with a direct view of her apartment?

  • JAT May 15, 2013

    ginger - he may have been enroute from being in Raleigh and had to turn around and return? but the child would know if her dad had been there, you'd think, since the body was cold already and that would imply the murder happened quite some time before she was found.

  • Hippy_mom May 15, 2013

    carla349, there is still good in the world, although it seems recently we are hearing a lot of stories similar to this one. I have to remind myself of that by noticing small acts of kindness I witness every day. But we, as a society, need to do a better job of getting to know and looking out for our neighbors. It's a shame that we so often live in fear.

  • Obamacare survives May 15, 2013

    Also, she recently moved here from Tennessee, so it's doubtful she knew a lot of people in this area.

  • Obamacare survives May 15, 2013

    She was a pretty blonde.....I'd look into people she had relationships with. Start with the ex-husband.

  • lovetheheels May 15, 2013

    Being a construction worker isn't a profile for being a murderer. Statistics show that women are usually killed by someone they know.

    I agree...if this had been random, the murderer probably would have killed the child, too. My guess is the mother knew her attacker - or was married to him. Prayers for the little girl and the family...this is just tragic.

  • gingerlynn May 15, 2013

    beach2011 - ABC11 reports that the ex was in Tennessee and was enroute to Raleigh when he learned of the murder.

  • BuglessDuster May 15, 2013

    I'm going to go out on a limb and totally SPECULATE. It's probably domestic violence. She moved here to "start over" (based on the text from the former co-worker). She was probably trying to get away from an ex-boyfriend or ex-husband and he tracked her down and killed her.