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Body Found Near Wendell Undergoing Autopsy; Murder Investigation Launched

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WENDELL — Wednesday, abody was discovered near Wendell, and now, investigators have launched a murder investigation.

"We'll sift through everything there. We'll go through the creek bed with rakes and sifters and see if there is anything that may be in that creek bed or underneath where that body was at," said Major Danny Bellamy of theWake County Sheriff's Department.

Investigators spent a second day searching a ravine where the body of a young woman was found Wednesday afternoon.

As officials looked for any possbile evidence, preliminary autopsy results showed the victim was a black female in her late teens or early twenties. She was about 5 feet 2 inches tall.

Authorities believe she was murdered, but they do not yet know how. They say the body could have been lying in the creek for up to two months.

"We will be looking back for two to three months and making sure that no one has a missing person that fits this bill. Now we know we are looking for a female of an approximate age. That will help us tremendously in possibly comparing it to missing person cases," said Bellamy.

Authorities hope the autopsy will reveal a cause of death by Friday. In the meantime, they are stumped.

Right now, authorities say there are no local missing person cases that appear to be a match.