Local News

Durham Home Targeted in Investigation of N.C. Central Student's Death

Posted February 1, 2008 12:35 p.m. EST
Updated February 2, 2008 1:18 a.m. EST

— Wake County deputies on Friday obtained a warrant to search a Durham home for evidence in the slaying of a Raleigh woman whose body was found Wednesday morning along westbound Interstate 540, sources told WRAL.

Latrese Matral Curtis, 21, was last seen Tuesday night leaving class at North Carolina Central University. Motorists driving along I-540 discovered her body near Louisburg Road about an hour before her husband reported her missing to Durham police.

Darin Curtis, told authorities in a call to Durham 911 that she had called him Tuesday at about 10 p.m. to tell him she was on her way home.

Durham Police staked out a home at 19 Birchcrest Court for several hours Friday night. Sources told WRAL that the Durham Police Department was assisting the Wake County Sheriff's Office in the investigation.

Neighbors said that Durham officers approached the house Friday night.

"They peeked in the windows. My husband saw one office draw his gun – his weapon – and another man rang the door bell. No one answered," neighbor Kathy Nash said.

Tax records indicate the house is owned by a couple living in Massachusetts. Neighbors said they didn't know the name of the man who rented the house about six months ago.

"I have a 3½-year-old daughter and a 3-month-old son, and I was just really frightened for us because it's a very quiet street, it's a very friendly neighborhood," Nash said.

Wake County investigators haven't named a suspect or said if they have a theory why someone killed Curtis. They said Thursday she died of wounds apparently caused by a sharp object.

Authorities found Curtis' white Nissan Sentra about a quarter-mile away on the same side of the interstate. That was the car her husband said she had driven to class.

Investigators want anyone who drove on I-540 late Tuesday or early Wednesday and might have seen something related to the case to contact the sheriff's office at 919-856-6900.

Authorities said Friday they have received more than two dozen calls from motorists about what they saw in the area during that time period.