Police arrested Kenneth Ray O'Neal Jr., 19, and charged him with first-degree burglary, forcible sex offense and first-degree murder in the death of Amanda R. Maynard.
O'Neal is being held at the Wake County Jail without bail. A motive is not yet known.
"I cannot fathom what would encourage or motivate someone to do what happened here," said Officer Jon Blum of the Garner Police Department.
SBI agents and police spent Monday searching for evidence behind O'Neal's backyard and woods behind his house.
Garner police received a call from a neighbor about a disturbance at about 3:15 a.m. Saturday, Blum said.
While checking the neighborhood, police were directed to 101 Madrid Court where they found Maynard.
Police found the Garner High School student inside and said it appeared she was struck more than once with a sharp instrument.
Investigators are waiting for autopsy results before confirming how Maynard died.
O'Neal, of 102 Madrid Court, was arrested about 10 a.m. in another county, authorities said.
Maynard was a student at Garner Senior High. Maynard lived with her mother, Tammy Edrington, who was divorced from Amanda's father, Paul M. Maynard, an Army soldier stationed in Germany, relatives said.
Edrington was out of town when investigators reached her to tell her about her daughter's death.
A memorial service will be held at First Presbyterian Church in Garner from 6 to 9 p.m. Tuesday. Her body will then be flown to Kentucky, where she is from. Another visitation is tenatively scheduled for Friday and a funeral set for Saturday morning.
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