A North Carolina man who initially reported his girlfriend missing has been charged with her murder after authorities say her body was discovered buried at their home.
Brandon Shaw, 35, reported Sierra Kathleen Henderson Ashburn, 28, missing the morning of Wednesday, May 6, according to a statement from the Surry County Sheriff’s Office.
Later that same day, detectives from the sheriff’s office drove out the couple’s Mount Airy home to follow up with Shaw and began asking him questions about the disappearance, The Mount Airy News reports.
Authorities said Shaw provided “details” that led them to find Ashburn’s body buried on the property.
The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation was called in to assist with processing the crime scene.
Investigators believe Ashburn was killed after an “apparent domestic argument” between the couple. The investigation into Ashburn’s death remains ongoing and authorities declined to release any further details about the case.
Shaw has been arrested and charged with first-degree murder. He is currently being held in the Surry County Detention Center, according to the sheriff’s office. It was not immediately clear if he had an attorney able to comment on his behalf.
Ashburn’s friend Cari Williams said the 28-year-old was almost like one of her own children and was considered part of her family.
“She was amazing, giving, and a loving person,” Williams said, according to the Sandhills Sentinel. “I’m shocked someone could do this. She was the best person and a great mom.”
Another friend, Micah Pridgen, described Ashburn to the local news outlet as the “friendliest person.”
“I’m devastated and shocked, she was like a little sister to me,” Pridgen said. “I feel the most for her son, who now has to grow up without a mother.”
Crime Time is your destination for true crime stories from around the world, breaking crime news, and information about Oxygen's original true crime shows and documentaries. Sign up for our Crime Time Newsletter and subscribe to our true crime podcast Martinis & Murder for all the best true crime content.