Orange County, NC (WTVD) — A 17-year-old is wanted for the murder of slain high school students Lyric Woods and Devin Clark, according to the Orange County Sheriff’s Office.
Woods, 14, and Clark, 18, were found dead on a trail in Orange County over the weekend.
“Through the hard work of my investigators, and the assistance of many other law enforcement agencies, we have identified the suspects in this case,” said Sheriff Charles Blackwood. “We will now work with local, state and federal authorities to apprehend suspects and refer them to the court system.”
Two juvenile petitions for first-degree murder were filed with the Division of Juvenile Justice and Crime Prevention Tuesday afternoon.
The names of the suspects have not been released because they are not adults. As of December 2019, 16- and 17-year-olds who commit crimes in North Carolina are not automatically charged as adults. However, there are likely reasons why judges have the ability to refer cases to the adult justice system.
“I would like to thank the families of Devin Clark and Lyric Woods for trusting us and the investigation process during this extremely painful time,” Blackwood said. “I hope that understanding this topic will bring them some comfort as they mourn their loved ones.”
The Orange County Sheriff’s Office said two bodies were found near a powerline easement in the western part of the county around 3 p.m. Sunday by a man in an ATV. Both victims appear to have been shot, investigators said.
The bodies were identified on Monday as Lyric Woods, 14, and Devin Clark, 18, the family confirmed on Monday. Both were reported missing over the weekend.
Their exact cause of death has not yet been determined. Investigators hope to receive this information from medical reports in the near future.
Woods was reported missing Saturday afternoon by his family and a deputy entered information into the National Crime Information Center Index (NCIC) around 3:44 p.m., according to the sheriff’s office. The family said they went to bed with the back door of their home locked on Friday night. When they woke up on Saturday, the back door was unlocked and there were no signs of forced entry.
Clark’s family contacted the Mebane Police Department on Sunday, concerned about his whereabouts. An officer brought him into the NCIC at about 1:42 p.m.
Woods’ grandfather offered a $10,000 reward for the case on social media.
Investigators described Woods and Clark as acquaintances. The two are high school students. Woods attended Cedar Ridge High School and Clark attended East Alamance High School.
The lives of Woods and Clark were silenced Monday night during a football game between their two high schools.
“Eastern Alamance student Devin Clark and Cedar Ridge student Lyric Woods tragically lost their lives last weekend,” the public address announcer said ahead of the game. “Please keep their families in mind and pray for them.”
The investigation is still ongoing. Anyone with additional information should contact investigator Keith Goodwin at (919) 245-2918.
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