Local News

Sheriff: Edgecombe investigators 'working diligently'

Posted August 14, 2009 5:40 p.m. EDT
Updated August 15, 2009 8:00 a.m. EDT

— Investigators are "pleased" with progress in the case of nine women missing or found dead in Edgecombe County, Sheriff James Knight said Friday.

A task force of investigators from the sheriff’s office, Rocky Mount Police Department, State Bureau of Investigation and FBI has identified more than 300 leads and is “working diligently," Knight said.

The remains of Jarniece Latonya Hargrove, 31, Jackie Nikelia Thorpe, 35, Ernestine Battle, 50, Melody LaShae Wiggins, 29, and Taraha Shenice Nicholson, 28, have been found in rural area of Edgecombe County over the past four years.

Each was black, from Rocky Mount and had a history of drug use and run-ins with the law. Each was reported missing before their bodies were discovered.

A sixth body discovered in February has yet to be identified, and three other missing women with similar descriptions and backgrounds – Christine Marie Boone, Renee Joyce Durham and Yolanda Renee Lancaster – remain missing.

Anyone with information about the cases is asked to call the Edgecombe County Sheriff's Office at 252-641-7911.