Local News

Police: Woman was killed in apartment near North Hills

Posted May 14, 2013 12:13 p.m. EDT
Updated May 15, 2013 8:50 a.m. EDT

— Police said they are treating the death of a Raleigh woman who was found covered in blood in her apartment near North Hills early Tuesday as a homicide.

An 8-year-old girl approached a construction crew working on the Allister North Hills Apartments complex, inside Interstate 440 off Six Forks Road, shortly after 7:30 a.m. to seek help for her mother, police said.

A construction worker then found the body of Melissa Dawn Huggins-Jones, 30, on a bed inside an apartment at 441 Allister Drive.

"There's blood everywhere," the worker told a 911 dispatcher. "I think it's too late for (CPR). ... She's cold as ice, ma'am, and there's no pulse."

Huggins-Jones moved to Raleigh about two weeks ago from Cleveland, Tenn., outside Chattanooga, where she had worked at First Tennessee Bank. Her former co-worker at the bank, Desha Maples, said Huggins-Jones sent her a text message around 11:30 p.m. Monday.

"She had a very hard Mother's Day because she was in Raleigh and her son was here," Maples said. "I told her to keep her chin up and that God had given her a new path."

Police said they had no suspects in the case, and they asked anyone with information to call Crime Stoppers at 919-834-4357.

Investigators declined to say whether anyone else lived in the apartment with Huggins-Jones and her daughter. The girl is staying with relatives, police said.

The building where the body was found is the only one occupied in Allister North Hills Apartments; the rest of the complex is under construction. Raleigh police spokesman Jim Sughrue said Wednesday that other residents in the building are staying in other places until investigators finish their work at the crime scene.

"You think you're in a really safe neighborhood, so it kind of makes you feel wary," said Connie Wood, who lives in the adjacent Ramblewood subdivision.

"You just want to be able to open the door and let your children run down the street, but that is not the feeling I'm having at the moment," said Ashley Gaylord, another Ramblewood resident and the wife of Raleigh City Councilman Bonner Gaylord.