Questions remain about suspect in student murder

February 3, 2008 7:57:52 PM PST
The Wake County Sheriff's Office arrested Robert Reaves early Saturday morning, and he faces first-degree murder charges in the death of 21-year-old Latrese Curtis.

Reaves lives in the Woodcroft subdivision off of Highway 54 in Durham.

Police continue to guard the residence, which is a rental property. Neighbors say they are shocked to hear the accusation and describe the suspect as a nice guy.

The sheriff's office arrested 43-year-old Reaves around 1:15 a.m. Saturday.

Early Wednesday morning commuters called police after spotting Curtis' body along the side of I-540 near the HIghway 401 exit.

An autopsy later showed Curtis died of injuries from a sharp object. An intense three-day investigation led deputies to Reaves.

"We received a lot of tips and I want to thank the public for what they did in giving us those tips," Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison said.

But the murder mystery is far from over. Now investigators sare trying to figure out how Reaves and Curtis knew each other.

"We have found out they have met each other," Sheriff Harrison said. "We're looking into that. This investigation is still ongoing."

Meanwhile, in the quiet Durham community where Reaves rents a home, neighbors are reacting to the news.

"I'm shocked," a neighbor said. "It's a very family oriented neihborhood. Everyone knows each other, socializes with each other."

Neighbors describe Reaves as a friendly guy. They say he lived alone in his home but often talked about his children.

The Sheriff said the investigation is ongoing and at this time, he does not know if there will be other arrests.


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