Local News

Search continues in rural Edgecombe County

Posted September 10, 2009 12:24 p.m. EDT
Updated September 10, 2009 6:52 p.m. EDT

— Members of a joint task force investigating the deaths and disappearances of women from Rocky Mount were back on the case Thursday, searching in rural Edgecombe County.

Authorities have not said what they are searching for in the area of N.C. Highway 33 near Whitakers.

The task force has been looking at connections among six cases of remains found dumped in the county. Five of the bodies have been identified as black women with histories of drug use and prostitution. A sixth has not been identified.

Three other women who fit the profile are missing.

Yolanda Renee Lancaster, 37, was last seen at her home at 507 Grand Ave. on Feb. 5, 2009. Her boyfriend said she knew three of the dead women.

Christine Marie Boone, 46, was last seen at 801 S. Grace Street in August 2006.

Joyce Renee Durham was last seen in June 2007 at 1505 Harper Street. She would be 48 years old.

Only one arrest has been made. Antwan Pittman, 31, whose last known address was 219 Anderson St. in Rocky Mount, was charged last week in the death of Taraha Shenice Nicholson, 29. Nicholson's remains were found March 7, 2009, on Marriott Road. She had been reported missing on Feb. 22, 2009.

Authorities have not charged Pittman with any of the other murders. A farmer near the search zone told WRAL News that Pittman once lived in the area.

In the map below, the blue markers indicate locations where bodies have been found. The area of the search is denoted in green.

View Edgecombe County bodies in a larger map

Searchers marked trees and paths with pink ribbon and crime scene tape Thursday, but would not comment on what, if anything, they found.

“Not right now. We will talk later,” Edgecombe County Sheriff James Knight said.