Local News

Autopsy details violence in killing of North Hills woman

Posted June 21, 2013 6:01 p.m. EDT
Updated June 22, 2013 8:42 a.m. EDT

— An autopsy released Friday revealed a 30-year-old mother who was found dead in her North Hills apartment in May died from repeated, savage blows to her head and neck.

Melissa Huggins-Jones suffered 11 wounds to her head and neck, including a “chop wound” to her scalp and deep injury to her nose and cheek. The blows were so forceful that they penetrated her skull and dislodged teeth.

The report also noted eight more wounds to the rest of her body and numerous bruises.

Her injuries were likely caused “by an instrument capable of inflicting both sharp and blunt force injuries,” the medical examiner wrote in the report.

Huggins-Jones was killed May 14 in a homicide that shocked the North Hills community she had recently moved to from Tennessee. Her body was discovered by a construction worker about 7:30 a.m. after her 8-year-old daughter approached a crew working at the apartments and asked for help.

Ronald Lee Anthony, 23, of 1800 S. Bloodworth St., Raleigh, Travion Devonte Smith, 20, of Raleigh, and Sarah Rene Redden, 18, of 3209 Scotch Pine Trail, Wake Forest, were arrested May 22 on charges of first-degree murder. They were indicted by a grand jury earlier this month.

Investigators have said they believe the suspects tried to burglarize her apartment.