A 17-year-old suspect in connection to the murder of the two North Carolina teens that were found shot dead in woods has been charged, according to authorities.
On Monday, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office in North Carolina identified the two young people found shot and killed Sunday as missing teens Lyric Woods, 14, and Devin Clark, 18, according to a press release.
Woods, a ninth-grade student at Cedar Ridge High School in Hillsborough, was reported missing by her family to the sheriff’s office on Saturday. Clark, a senior at Eastern Alamance High School in Mebane, was reported missing by his family to the Mebane Police Department on Sunday, according to local outlet ABC 11.
According to ABC 11, the missing person’s report filed for Woods and Clark said they had both been seen last around 11 p.m. on Friday.
Woods’ family offered rewards for information about her whereabouts, including her grandfather’s offer of a $10,000 reward for information about her death, according to the outlet.
Tiffany Concepcion, Clark’s mother, told ABC 11 she wanted justice. “I don’t care where I have to go, what I have to do, who I’ve got to talk to, I’m going to keep going and keep doing it.
“He never hurt anybody, so for him to get done like this is — I have to have answers,” Concepcion said.
On Sunday afternoon, two men riding four-wheeler bikes found the teens shot to death near a power-line easement outside the city of Hillsborough, about 2 miles away from the house where Woods was last seen, according to a news release.
On Tuesday, Orange County Sheriff Charles Blackwood said in the press release that an unnamed 17-year-old has been charged with two counts of first-degree murder, a Class A felony, for the deaths of Clark and Woods.
“Through the hard work of my investigators, along with the assistance of personnel from many other law enforcement agencies, we have identified a suspect in this case,” Blackwood said in the release.
“We will now work with local, state, and federal authorities to apprehend and present the suspect to the court system.”
The suspect will not be charged as an adult due to state law that went into effect in December of 2019 and instead, the case will be transferred from a district court to a superior court, according to the release.
Blackwood went on to thank the victims’ families “for trusting us and the investigative process during this excruciatingly painful time. I hope the apprehension of this subject will bring them some comfort as they mourn their loved ones,” the statement read.
Orange County Schools issued a statement stating they were “deeply saddened by news” of Woods’ passing.
“Our hearts are with all of Lyric’s family and everyone who knew her, including many at Orange High, Gravelly Hill Middle, and Efland-Cheeks Global Elementary,” according to the statement.
According to ABC 11, Clark was a former football player, and Eastern Alamance honored Clark with a balloon release on the football field. Students at Cedar Ridge High wore white T-shirts Monday with Woods’ name written on them. School administrators said they plan to honor the teen with a balloon release in her honor later this week.
The lives of both teens were remembered Monday night with a moment of silence at a soccer game between their two high schools, according to the outlet.
“This past weekend, Devin Clark an Eastern Alamance student and Lyric Woods a Cedar Ridge student tragically lost their lives,” the public address announcer stated just before the game.
“Please keep their families in your thoughts and prayers.”
Woods’ family and friends organized a GoFundMe for her funeral costs, raising over $23,000 as of Wednesday.
An aunt of Clark’s, Anamarie Bowes, also organized a fundraiser to aid in funeral expenses for her nephew, raising over twice their goal of $11,000.
Clark’s family continues to have questions, but his aunt Crystal Hughes said she found some comfort in knowing her nephew was loved by the community, according to ABC 11.
“It actually made me feel good to know that he touched a lot of people’s lives, that he made an impact on a lot of people,” she said. “And not only in the school, within the community as well, because people looked up to him as well as him looking up to other people as his coaches and just a man figure in the community.”