Local News

Report: Hoke Child the Victim of Rape

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The latest report from the coroner's office indicates
RAEFORD — The search continues for little BrittanyLocklear's killer. And, on the heels of the girl's murder, new detailsare raising fears that a habitual child predator may be at large.

Sheriff Wayne Byrd said that another child was approached by a strangeman days before Brittany was kidnapped, but the man took off when a secondchild approached.

"I found outthis morning that another child was approached last week by a person in adifferent type of vehicle," Sheriff Byrd said in a news conference onFriday. "But when another child came up, the person drove off.

Byrd also stated Saturday that the brown truck involved in theabduction did have a camper shell with windows attached to it. Theincident happened in Brittany's neighborhood.

Meanwhile, localauthorities, the SBI, and the FBI are searching for Brittany's murderer. The five-year-old girl was kidnapped from the bus stop and murdered nearher Hoke County home. Now, the focus of that investigation may beshifting.

For the first time, Brittany Locklear's relatives made thetough trip to the murder scene on Friday. Since the roadblocks have comedown, the quiet road near the murder scene has been crowded with curiousonlookers.

Investigators still await autopsy results before they willrelease details about the kindergartner's death. The sheriff did specifythat when searchers found Brittany, she was partially-clothed. Themedical examiner's report also indicateds that the child was the victim ofrape.

Brittany's mother,Connie Chavis, is sounding more defiant. She says she won't feel betteruntil the person who killed her daughter is locked up. Chavis says shewants to see justice served, because her child didn't deserve to die.

Byrd says that due to the nature and location of the killing,it is his belief that the suspect isn't some stranger from out of town. He says that the killer may well be someone from within a 25-mile radiusof Raeford -- someone who knew their way around the crime scene'sback roads.

Hoke County authorities have staffed a "war room" wheretips and leads about Brittany's death are recorded and processed. Theysay that they're receiving about 30 calls an hour, mostly from folks insurrounding counties. However, calls have come in from as far away asVirginia and Florida.

Authorities have no plans to releaseinformation on Brittany's cause of death. They see that information as avital link in their search for a suspect.

If you have informationabout Brittany's killer, the Hoke County Sheriff's Department wants you tocall them at1-800-496-3808.

Trust and reward fundshave been set up in Brittany's name. Contributions can be mailed to:

The Fidelity BankP.O. Box 416Raeford, NC 28376

You need toearmark whether you want the money to go to the Brittany Locklear trustfund or to the reward fund.

Brittany will lie in state from 4:00 p.m.to 9:00 p.m. Sunday night in the auditorium of the J.W. Turlington SchoolAuditorium in Raeford. The family will receive friends on Sunday at thesame location.

The funeral will be held on Monday, January 12 at 3:00p.m. at the Stevens Family Cemetery, just south of Raeford. The public iswelcome.

andLen Besthoff

andMarkCopelandOnLine Producers:Kerrie HudzinskiandBrian Shrader

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