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Body Found Confirmed to Be That of Missing Student

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Robeson County Detective Mark Locklear
PEMBROKE — The search for a missing college student hasgiven way to a murder investigation. Robeson County investigators haveconfirmed that a skeleton discovered over the weekend is the remains of aUniversity of North Carolina-Pembroke student who was reported missingsix months ago.

It's exactly the news people in the community of Pembroke weredreading when Cynthia Wheeler was first reported missing. Monday, investigators learned the body they found this weekend was in facthers.

The case has baffled the small community. Wheeler was looking forwardto her junior year at UNC-Pembroke as a criminal justice major when shedisappeared. Investigators say Wheeler was last seen with friends at acampus dorm June 23. A few days later her car was found burned and riddledwith bullet holes. Despite that, investigators were left with little to goon until this past weekend. A group of hunters discovered the skeleton ina rural part of the county.

Robeson County Detective Mark Locklear says there was not much evidenceat the scene.

Investigators now know Wheeler was murdered and have begun the searchfor her killer.

Wheeler's body was found only three miles from where investigators found her burned out car. They say they have no suspects yet, but thatthe pathology report should tell them exactly how Wheeler died.

It could be several weeks before that report is completed.

Photographer:Mike Joyner

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