Local News

Clayton Man Charged With Murder Of Teen Stepdaughter

Posted March 26, 2005 7:49 a.m. EST

— Police are investigating a death in which a man told police he strangled and killed his teen stepdaughter after arguing about a drug habit.

Police said Ashley Reagan Jr., 34, walked into the Clayton Police Department Friday morning and said he strangled his stepdaughter. Reagan is charged with murder in connection with the death.

Neighbors said Melissa Mayer, 16, who died early this morning, came to visit her mother and stepfather to celebrate her upcoming birthday.

But Mayer never left their home in the South Bend Mobile Home Park outside of Clayton. Johnston County Sheriff Steve Bizzell said Reagan was doing cocaine Thursday night and argued with his family about his drug addiction.

Bizzell said they all went to bed, but Reagan woke up at 3 a.m.

"Reagan left his bedroom went to the den area of the home, assaulted the stepdaughter with a blunt object and choked her to death," Bizzell said.

Investigators said Reagan then went back to bed until 7 a.m. When he got up he drove to the Clayton Police Department and told them what he did.

"This trailer park is a real good trailer park -- it's nice and quiet," said Tony Bridges. "This is just a shocker to the community."

According to Bizzell, Mayer's mother had no idea her husband killed her daughter Friday morning.

After Reagan turned himself in, a sheriff's deputy went to the mobile home, woke the mother and her two sons up and told them what happened.

Reagan is being held at the Johnston County Jail.

Mayer was a student at Garner High School. She would have turned 17 on Tuesday.