Roymari Campbell, 22, of Winston-Salem, is charged with two counts of first-degree murder in the Nov. 3 death of Maria Jacinta Pena and the Nov. 6 death of Lori A. Beaudry. He was being held without bond in the Cumberland County Detention Center.
Pena, 42, worked two jobs to send money to El Salvador for her children. She was robbed and beaten to death on a wooded path off Sycamore Dairy Road as she walked to one of her jobs, police said.
"It was just a few dollars and a random meeting of the two," Detective Jeff Locklear, of the Fayetteville Police Department, said about Pena's slaying.
Pena's husband was killed a few years ago during a robbery in El Salvador, Pena's friends said, noting crime has made orphans of her children.
"That's a void in their lives that will never be filled," Tiawana Johnson said.
Three days after Pena's death, Beaudry's body was found face-down on the bed in her apartment with pillows stacked on her head. She came to town from Arizona to meet her husband, Spc. Joseph Beaudry, who had returned from a 15-month deployment to Iraq two weeks earlier.
"It just doesn't make any sense," Locklear said. "Both of these ladies would have gladly given (their killer) whatever he asked for."
Police didn't know the two slayings were connected until a Crime Stoppers detective saw a familiar face in some surveillance photos released in the investigation of Beaudry's death. The photos taken by a store security camera showed a man using Beaudry's credit card.
Campbell was in jail on charges stemming from a Sept. 12 burglary, and a Crime Stoppers detective recognized his face from photos issued in the earlier case, police said.
After Campbell was questioned about the slayings, police executed search warrants and collected enough evidence to charge him in both cases, police said.
He also faces two counts each of burglary and robbery with a dangerous weapon. Additional charges of breaking and entering, felony larceny and financial transaction card theft and use are pending.