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The case of two missing North Carolina teens is now a homicide investigation after two bodies with gunshot wounds were discovered on Sunday.
The North Carolina Medical Examiner’s Office is working to confirming the identities and causes of death.
“Although we do not have that confirmation yet, in the absence of any other missing persons matching the descriptions of the individuals located, the tragic but logical conclusion is increasingly clear,” Orange County Sheriff Charles Blackwood said Monday in a statement. “This loss is devastating for the victims’ families and friends, and indeed for the entire community.”
The family of Lyric Woods, 14, had notified the Orange County Sheriff’s Office around noon Saturday morning that she was missing, and a report was filed with the National Crime Information Center Index (NCIC) later that day. Woods, a ninth-grade student at Cedar Ridge High School in Hillsborough (a northwest suburb of Durham), was last seen by her stepfather, Shane Cannada, on Friday night, the Charlotte Observer reported, and he heard her get into the shower around 11:00 p.m.
Cannada became concerned after he went to wake her up around 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, and she was not in her room. He didn’t believe she had run away because the only thing that was missing was her iPad, CBS17 reported.
Cannada told authorities that she probably left home on Friday night through an unlocked back door. A K-9 unit later determined that she'd walked through the woods before being picked up by a vehicle in an area known for the use of ATVs. A neighbor then told police he'd seen Woods in a four-wheeler around 3:00 am on Saturday morning, according to CBS 17 and WRAL.
The Mebane Police Department entered Devin Clark, 18, into the NCIC as a missing person at 1:42 p.m on Sunday, following a report from his family that he, too, was missing. Clark was a football player and senior at Eastern Alamance High School in Mebane — which is 10 miles west of Hillsborough — and lived with his father. It's unclear if the two teens knew one another.
Though police say that Clark's family reported him missing on Sunday, his mother, Tiffany Concepcion, told WRAL that the family reported him missing on Saturday.
Two men riding on four-wheeler bikes in the wooded area near Woods' home discovered two bodies near a power-line easement at around 3:00 p.m. on Sunday while checking trail cameras, according to the Orange County Sheriff's Office. Police believe them to be Woods and Clark; they were only about 2.5 miles away from Wood’s home.
Both had been shot, according to sheriff deputies.
Someone near the area where the bodies were discovered reported hearing more than a dozen gunshots on Friday night.
“Around 12:30 or 1 a.m. I sat down and watched TV for about an hour. All of a sudden, I heard about 10 shots going off together, quite fast, “ David White told CBS17. “A minute after that, five more shots went off.”
Clark’s mother, Concepcion, is reportedly unhappy with the way authorities handled her son’s disappearance and death, telling WRAL that she first heard of her son's death on social media and identified his body over the phone with the sheriff’s office.
“They would not let me see my son. I didn’t know he was transported to the place he is now,” she told WRAL.
Woods' grandfather, Stan Dean, is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of her killer.
Dean wrote on Facebook: “10,000.00 reward to the capture of the ones responsible for my granddaughter’s murder! Cash! I need results! Any information contact the Orange County Sheriff’s Dept.”
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