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Motive remains a mystery as 17-year-old charged with murder in slaying of NC teens

A 17-year-old from Mebane was charged as an grownup with the taking pictures and taking pictures of two youngsters in Orange County in September.

Issiah Mehki Ross faces two counts of murder in the murders of 14-year-old Lyric Woods and 18-year-old Devin Clark.

At a information convention in Hillsborough on November 7, authorities mentioned Ross fled the crimes to Delaware, the place two folks are actually charged with harboring a fugitive. Sheriff Charles Blackwood didn’t establish the 2 folks charged in Delaware.

Alicia Stemper, the sheriff’s workplace public relations officer, mentioned there was no clear motive for the killings.

“We have some theories and we have some evidence,” she mentioned, “but we can’t speculate on motive at this time.”

Woods and Clark, who had been mates, had been reported lacking by their households over the weekend they had been killed.

People additionally learn…

Two males driving four-wheel bicycles discovered their our bodies alongside an ATV path off Buckhorn Road in western Orange County round 3:00 p.m. on September 18.

“Sheriff Blackwood and I share the community’s grief and outrage,” Assistant District Attorney Jeff Nieman mentioned on the Nov. 7 information convention, accompanied by Blackwood Stemper.

“This is a terrible loss for the family and friends of Devin and Lyric, and a tragedy for the entire community,” Nieman mentioned.

Because the suspect is a juvenile, Nieman mentioned public info in the case remains restricted. Even now, Stemper added, authorities would proceed to disclose few particulars so as to not jeopardize the case.

Chronicle of killings, arrest of suspect

Blackwood gave an up to date timeline of occasions surrounding Clark and Woods’ deaths.

Between late evening September 16 and early morning September 17, Blackwood mentioned Woods left her dwelling. She was reported lacking in a while Saturday. Clark’s household reported him lacking to Mebane Police on Sunday morning.

Blackwood mentioned he believes Ross killed the teens someday late Friday evening or Saturday morning, based mostly on stories from residents close to the scene who reported listening to gunshots.

Ross fled to Delaware, the place he beforehand lived, later Sunday, Blackwood mentioned.

The Orange County Sheriff’s Office labored with the FBI’s Delaware Violent Crimes Task Force to seek out and apprehend Ross on Oct. 5, Blackwood mentioned. The process power, after confirming Ross’ whereabouts, needed to acquire a search warrant to arrest him, he mentioned.

Ross was returned to North Carolina eight days later, the place he was positioned in a safe juvenile detention facility. Ross is being held with out bail and will face life in jail if convicted. Suspects underneath the age of 18 can’t obtain the loss of life penalty in North Carolina.

Officials have theories about a motive, Stemper mentioned, however cannot say definitively why Ross focused Clark and Woods.

“I don’t know if we’ll ever know (motive) in this case,” Stemper mentioned.

Authorities additionally wouldn’t say if Ross knew Woods, a freshman at Cedar Ridge High School in Hillsborough, or Clark, a senior at Eastern Alamance High School in Mebane.

However, a web based search revealed that each Clark and Ross had SoundCloud on-line music discussion board pages the place they posted their very own songs and songs by others they admired.

A spokesman for the Alamance-Burlington School System confirmed in an e-mail to The News & Observer that Ross was a pupil at Eastern Alamance High School. Ross was enrolled from Aug. 29 to Sept. 3, the spokesman mentioned.

Name couldn’t be launched

Investigators from the Orange County Sheriff’s Office shortly recognized a suspect in the case, however had been unable to launch his identification to the general public till Nov. 7 as a result of he’s a juvenile.

State regulation requires prosecutors to attempt suspects underneath the age of 18 in the juvenile courtroom system, which limits the disclosure of info. The juvenile could also be introduced earlier than an grownup courtroom after a listening to earlier than a choose or an indictment by the grand jury.

A grand jury consists of 18 residents who serve six to 12 months, relying on the district. The grand jury hears proof gathered in opposition to a defendant and determines whether or not there are ample possible causes to cost the particular person with the crime.

The Orange County grand jury convened final week and located sufficient proof to formally cost Ross with murder as an grownup.

The jury discovered that Ross “unlawfully, knowingly and knowingly premeditatedly killed and murdered” Clark and Woods, courtroom paperwork present.

His subsequent courtroom look is scheduled for November 15.

Stemper mentioned the sheriff’s workplace has closed its investigation and the case is now in the arms of the prosecutor. However, when requested if extra arrests had been potential, Blackwood mentioned he “didn’t want to speculate on that at this time.”

Clark’s mom, Tiffany Concepcion, instructed WTVD Channel 11 in September that she was on the lookout for solutions.

“He’s never hurt anyone, so I need to have answers for him to get done like that,” Concepcion mentioned. “I want justice and I don’t care where I have to go, what I have to do, who I have to talk to, I’m going to move on and move on.”

Clark’s father, Dexter Clark, reached by The N&O, declined to remark.

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