Local News

Relatives Shocked at Mother's Arrest

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LILLINGTON — Third-grader Justin Reese was found strangled to death Saturday in acotton field about a mile from his Bunn Level home. Investigators say noone had seen or heard from him since he left his house that day.

Investigators had indicated Wednesday that some family members,including the boy's mother, 34-year-old Keturah Reese, would be questionedand possibly asked to submit to polygraph testing.

Keturah Reese was charged with first degree murder Wednesday night,just hours after she attended her son's crowded and highly emotionalfuneral service. She is being held in Harnett County jail without bond.

A cousin said he found out about the arrest on the news Wednesday nightand was shocked.

Keturah Reese was arrested after investigators compared statementsthey got from family, neighbors and friends of the family. Capt. JerryLamm of the Harnett County sheriff's department said that onSaturday, Reese told investigators her son left the yard of theirhome without her knowledge and against her wishes. On Sunday, she told areporter that she had given the boy permission to walk down the road tovisit an uncle and cousin who were chopping trees nearby.

In addition, investigators told WRAL-TV5 reporterMark Robertsthat tire tracks foundnear the boy's body matched a car the mother had been driving.

Harnett County Sheriff Larry Knott said Reese confessed tothe crime after nearlyseven hours of interrogation on Wednesday following her son's funeral.

Authorities declined to comment on a motive.

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