Local News

Missing N.C. Central Student's Body Found Along I-540

Posted January 30, 2008 8:20 a.m. EST
Updated January 31, 2008 11:21 a.m. EST

— A body found near Interstate 540 Wednesday morning is that of a missing North Carolina Central University student whose husband reported her missing Wednesday morning.

A motorist traveling on I-540 saw the body of what appeared to be a black female on an embankment near Louisburg Road about 7:30 a.m. and called 911.

The body was identified late Wednesday afternoon as that of Latrese Matral Curtis, 21, of Raleigh. She was last seen leaving class at N.C. Central Tuesday night, according to a missing person's report.

Sheriff's investigators spent the day combing the area near the site of the body and surrounding areas. They are treating the case as a homicide, and do not have a suspect in custody.

"We don't know where this happened, how it happened, or what happened," Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison said.

Curtis' body was taken to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Chapel Hill for an autopsy. Her cause of death had not been determined.

About a quarter-mile away on the same side of the road, investigators also found a white Nissan Sentra registered to Curtis. Crime scene tape surrounded the vehicle as investigators searched it.

Curtis' husband was also at the scene Wednesday to speak with investigators, and authorities executed a search warrant on his car and at the couple's apartment.

N.C. Central released a statement Wednesday afternoon confirming Curtis was a student.

“The entire university community is saddened by the death of this student, and we offer sincere condolences to her family at this difficult time,” said Chancellor Charlie Nelms in the statement.

The investigation into Curtis' death is ongoing, Harrison said, and investigators asked that anyone who drove on I-540 late Tuesday night or early Wednesday and might have seen something related to the case to contact the sheriff's office.

"Anybody that saw something near Exit 18, please call us," Harrison said. "Anything that looked suspicious, an abandoned car – we'll take anything, any information we can to follow-up on."