The Southern High School senior was found stabbed to death early Saturday morning. Her body had been wrapped in a comforter and carpeting, and left in her car's trunk. The car was found on Kerley Road near Gate 14 of Duke Forest, off a rural stretch of NC 751.
In addition to waiting for completion of the lab tests, Orange County sheriff's deputies are are also following leads. They are searching for anyone who saw her black Geo Storm between 10 a.m. Friday and 1 a.m. Saturday. The car is a 1990 two-door with tinted windows, chrome wheels and bears North Carolina license plate KXY-7858.
Investigators believe she was killed following a violent struggle in the bedroom of a mobile home in which she lived. They were called to the mobile home about 4 p.m. Friday by Pekrul's stepfather, who told 911 there was a "suspicious condition" at the residence.
Police said they found blood evidence in the back bedroom, kitchen and bathroom. Some furniture was kicked in, and a large piece of carpeting had been cut out.
Investigators have talked with family members and neighbors, and obtained a warrant to search the mobile home of Pekrul's aunt and uncle, Elaine and Shannon Davis. Shannon Davis, 24, had "cuts and bruises consistent with someone having been in a struggle," according to a police statement. Davis said he was cut installing awning, and bruised while mulching his yard.
Pekrul initially lived with the Davises about 14 months, after moving down from New York. The day after Christmas, Davis asked her to move out. Sources told police Pekrul had taken Davis to court, charging him with stealing $240, an accusation he has denied. She went to live with her mother and stepfather, who by then also had moved to Orange County from New York.
Investigators have also searched the cars of Ernest Furnia, 50. He is Pekrul's stepfather.
Her mother described her oldest child as "a typical teenager." She recalled that Sarah Pekrul was given a car for Christmas. "She loved her car," her mother said.
Pekrul was last seen about 7 a.m. Friday when she dropped off a younger sister at a school bus stop.
Police have said no one has been eliminated as a suspect. Anyone with information is asked to call the Orange County Sheriff's Investigative Unit at 919-644-3050 or 919-644-3051.