Local News

Officials Identify Woman's Body Found In Neuse River

Posted Updated
April Messer
SMITHFIELD, N.C. — The state Medical Examiner's office has identified a body found in the Neuse River, but has not said how the victim died.

A fisherman found the body of April Messer, 24, of Four Oaks, on Friday in the Neuse River.

Police say Messer, a mother of two boys, was never reported missing.

"They approached us and said they hadn't seen their daughter in a week or two when they heard a female body had been located in the river," Smithfield Police Capt. Bruce Gentry said.

Messer's family told investigators it was not unusual for them to not talk with Messer for a week or more.

The funeral home that took the body says the medical report shows Messer died April 16 -- two weeks before she was found in the river.

"Did anyone have a motivation to injure her? That's something we are looking at," Gentry said.

For now Smithfield police are still calling this a death investigation, but they say they cannot yet rule out foul play, suicide or the possibility this was just an accident.

Police did not say how Messer died.

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