Local News

Memorial service Saturday for missing Rocky Mount woman

Posted January 21, 2011 6:02 p.m. EST
Updated January 22, 2011 7:11 p.m. EST

— Yolanda Renee Lancaster, one of 10 Rocky Mount women at the center of an investigation into a suspected serial killer, will be remembered Saturday in a memorial service.

Lancaster, 37, had been missing for nearly two years when hunters found her remains Jan. 10 in some woods in rural Edgecombe County.

Saturday’s memorial service is at 2 p.m. at Whitehead Funeral and Cremation, 21219 Lawrence Circle, in Rocky Mount.

Lancaster disappeared in February 2009 after an argument with her boyfriend, said her mother, Juray Tucker. But after a few weeks, she said, she became worried. Normally, Lancaster would at least call to check on her two young children, whom Tucker has raised since they were infants.

Like nine other women who have disappeared from Rocky Mount since 2006, Lancaster had a history of alcohol and drug abuse – habits that Tucker said her daughter developed after she began sneaking out of the house in high school.

"After you do everything that you can do to raise them the right way, when they grow up, you got no more say. They choose their own way," Tucker told The Associated Press in an interview last year.

Authorities have charged Antwan Maurice Pittman with murder in the death of one woman found in the area, and investigators say he is a suspect in several of the other women’s deaths.

A tenth woman, Joyce Renee Durham, is still missing.