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Neighbor Charged in Death of 7-Year-Old Harnett County Girl

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CAMERON — A man who lived in the same subdivision as 7-year-old Sharita Rivera and her mother, Patrice, has been charged with first degree murder in the girl's death.

Quincey Marquies Amerson, 24, of 112 Travis Drive in Brafford Estates made his first court appearance Monday morning.

Meanwhile, autopsy results were released. The 7-year-old was found to have died from massive injuries to her head and body, consistent with being run over by a vehicle.

Her mother died from multiple stab wounds to the chest, neck and head.

Sharita Rivera's body had been found early Saturday morning in southwestern Harnett County. The child was found on a road, her body bearing evidence she had been run over, possibly several times. A portion of a car fender had been left at the scene. Officials said it was matched to the fender of a black 1990 Honda Accord that Amerson had been driving.

When authorities went to Sharita's home to report her death, they found a woman's body at the home, three miles away, and reports indicated her throat may have been cut.

Mrs. Rivera, 28, and her husband, Jose, are both in the Army. She was a cook at Fort Bragg. He is returning home from a year-long posting in Seoul, South Korea.

The child was the first to be discovered, on Cameron Hill Road near N.C. 24, about 4 a.m.

State troopers initially thought they were investigating a hit-and-run accident, but they quickly realized it was a homicide.

"We discovered evidence at the scene that would indicate that it was a homicide, instead of a hit-and-run accident," says Sgt. Harold Thompson. "Therefore, we requested help from the State Bureau of Investigation."

An administrator from Johnsonville Primary School was called to identify the child.

Then, when officials went to the Rivera home at 51 Brafford Estates Drive about 11 a.m., they also found a 1-year-old boy who was crying.

The boy was placed in protective custody. He has been identified as the Rivera's son, Delshawn.

Joseph Padgett was the girl's bus driver.

"She was a sweet little girl on the bus," he said.

State troopers, Harnett County deputies, and the SBI spent hours combing over the crime scene.

"I got a small child too, a young boy, and when you talk about kids it scares you," says neighbor Richard Taylor.

Shocked neighbors watched the investigators from a distance. Some used binoculars.

"She was a good mother," a family friend said. "Her kids came first. Her kids were her priority. She worked and her kids were always taken care of. She would never leave the kids at home by themselves. I got a phone call at work saying she's dead."

A neighbor said he heard a "commotion" at the house on Friday evening, and said he saw a car and truck in the driveway, and heard several men arguing. The News & Observerreported that Amerson went with authorities voluntarily for questioning about 3:30 p.m. Sunday. Deputies said they are trying to determine motive and that Amerson had declined to discuss the deaths.

Brafford Estates is near Cameron.

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Ericka Lewis, Reporter
Jim Young, Photographer
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