Local News

Community Grieves for Little Girl, Search Continues for Killer

Posted January 13, 1998 12:00 a.m. EST

— A little girl has been laid to rest as her community continues to grieve. More than 700 people showed up Monday night to say good-bye to 5-year-old Brittany Locklear as an intensive search continues for her killer.

Hoke County Sheriff's deputies say they are conducting their most extensive investigation ever in their quest to find the person or persons who kidnapped and killed the child last week. Sheriff Wayne Byrd said Tuesday that his department was going to have to find out what other resources were available to assist with the search.

For now, the investigation appears to be at an impasse as those involved take time Tuesday to make decisions about where to go next. Staffers are hard at work in what's known as the "war room" at the sheriff's department, manning phone lines, gathering tips and information, and plotting strategy.

Byrd says they watched the crowd closely at Monday's funeral, thinking the killer might be among the mourners.

Byrd says relatives of the child will be given lie-detector tests in keeping with standard procedure, but it won't be done right away.

Byrd spent part of Tuesday afternoon tracking down a tip involving the sighting of a brown truck in South Carolina. The lead did not turn up any new evidence. Witnesses say the man who took Locklear was driving a brown pickup truck.

Byrd told WRAL-TV5'sMark RobertsTuesday that there is still a great sense of urgency on the part of investigators involved in this search.

Road checks are planned for Wednesday morning around the site of the kidnapping. The girl was abducted last Wednesday.

Photographer:Mike Joyner