State News

Memorial service held for slain Kinston woman

Posted July 30, 2011 6:12 a.m. EDT
Updated July 31, 2011 9:24 a.m. EDT

— Family and friends held a memorial service Saturday afternoon for a Kinston woman whose dismembered body was found in Texas last week.

Those closest to Ackerson gave eulogies during the service at Grace Fellowship Church, where 27-year-old Laura Jean Ackerson attended Bible study classes and was preparing to become a member. 

Speakers shared memories of Ackerson's spirit of perserverance and her dedication to her two young sons.

"There were things in her life that she wanted to have greater peace about," said Jo Jackson, who taught Ackerson at Lenoir County Community College.

Two people have been charged with murder in Ackerson's death, including her former boyfriend and the father of her sons. Grant Ruffin Hayes, 32, and his wife, 39-year-old Amanda Hayes, have a probable cause hearing scheduled for Aug. 16 in Raleigh. They were being held without bond.

Ackerson's body was positively identified earlier this week from remains found in a creek in Fort Bend County, Texas.