Local News

Questions mount about pregnant woman's death in Goldsboro

The Wayne County Sheriff's Office on Friday said the young woman found slumped over in a vehicle near the intersection of Pikeville-Princeton Road and Nahunta Road on Wednesday night died of a homicide.

Posted Updated

Sloane Heffernan
, WRAL anchor/reporter
GOLDSBORO, N.C. — Renee Duval and her unborn child died when she ran off the road at Nahunta and Pikeville-Princeton roads in Wayne County. But what first looked like a car accident is being investigated as a homicide, and Duval's father says investigators told him she was shot.
Duval, who was seven months pregnant with a baby girl, was a regular at Gracie Jiu Jitsu in Goldsboro. A trainer there, Jake Whitfield, said she trained there just about every day for the last four years.

Her father, David Duval, said, "She was very dedicated to whatever it was she was doing. Whatever she did was full force. There was a very serious side to her, but a very fun side too."

David Duval, a criminal investigator in Virginia, said he knew immediately that his daughter's death was no run-of-the-mill car accident.

"Pretty much from the first phone call, I could tell that something was not right," he said.

Renee Duval was found in her car in a ditch after a passerby called 911 at around 11:30 p.m. on Jan. 29. Her boyfriend and the father of her child, James Jones, was the last person to see her alive. He said the couple visited his parents on the evening of her death, then left in separate cars.

Jones has been questioned by police and has had his phone and car searched. He says he told police he doesn't know what happened.

Investigators say Renee Duval's car was traveling slowly when it crashed, leading investigators to believe that she was harmed before the car went off the road.

Her baby was due on April 22. According to her father, they were going to name her Aspen.


Copyright 2023 by Capitol Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.