Local News

Second teen charged with murder in Hope Mills girl's death

Posted April 9, 2014 3:44 p.m. EDT
Updated April 9, 2014 6:35 p.m. EDT

— Hope Mills police have filed an additional murder charge in the death of 15-year-old Danielle Locklear, whose body was found last week in the South River near the Cumberland-Sampson county line.

Authorities arrested Locklear's 17-year-old ex-boyfriend, Je'Michael Malloy, and his friend, Dominic Lock, 18, on Tuesday after, police say, Malloy confessed to strangling the girl and tying her body to cinder blocks before tossing her into the river.

Lock, of Fayetteville, was initially charged with conspiracy for allegedly helping carry Locklear's body. Police dropped the conspiracy charge Wednesday and charged Lock with second-degree murder.

Authorities believe he stuffed a sock down Locklear's throat.

At a news conference Tuesday night, Hope Mills Police Chief Joel Acciardo said Locklear went to visit Malloy on March 11 and that the two got into an argument that turned violent. Locklear was killed and her body dumped that same night.

Malloy, of 7946 N.C. Highway 210 South, Autryville, also faces a charge of second-degree murder.

The teens were each jailed under a $100,000 bond and made a brief court appearance Wednesday afternoon.

Locklear's family, gathered outside the courthouse afterward, called the crime "a senseless murder that had no business happening."

Her aunt, Chena Simmons, said they were shocked when police arrested Malloy, a Cape Fear Valley High School senior who joined the family in searches for Locklear before her body was found April 3.

"That's another thing that's so devastating to us – that he could just stand there with us, asking 'Is everything OK? Do you all feel OK?'" Simmons said.

According to his Facebook profile, he even "liked" the page "Find Danielle Lockler 'Dannie.'"

"This young man goes to church with us," she added. "He seemed like such a nice young man, and so it's one of those things that's unbelievable."

Locklear was a freshman at South View High School in Hope Mills, where grief counselors have been available for students since she disappeared.

Investigators still do not have a positive identification that the body found April 3 is Locklear's, but they based their conclusion off Malloy's confession and the clothes she was last seen wearing.