2nd Carson suspect not apprehended in raid

Other suspect charged
March 11, 2008 9:00:00 PM PDT
Durham Police have not arrested the second suspect in the Eve Carson murder.

Wednesday afternoon police were at the home of Melissa Lovette, the grandmother of the second suspect. The home is also a day care.

After a raid, police discovered 17-year-old Lawrence Lovette Jr. was not inside. He remains at large and police have charged him with first-degree murder in the Carson case.

Police detained Demario Atwater early Wednesday morning in Durham, after an overnight raid at a home on Rosedale Avenue. Shortly afterwards, Durham Police handed Atwater off to Chapel Hill Police.

Atwater is believed to be the suspect captured in convenience store surveillance photos and Lovette is believed to be the driver of the vehicle caught on tape at a Chapel Hill ATM.

Chapel Hill Police are leading the investigation into the murder of Eve Carson. Carson, 22, of Athens, Ga., was found last Wednesday lying on a street about a mile from campus. She had been shot several times, including once in the right temple. Her body was positively identified the next day.

Atwater, 21, was questioned at Chapel Hill Police Headquarters and later transported to the Orange County Courthouse in Hillsborough where he was charged with first-degree murder.

Police have focused their investigation on a suspect pictured in several surveillance photos using her ATM card.

In the first photo released over the weekend, the "person of interest" appeared to look almost into the camera as he tried to use Eve Carson's bank card to withdraw cash. In the photo he wore a distinctive Houston Astros baseball hat. In that same photo investigators say a second person - not Eve Carson - could have been sitting in the back seat of Carson's SUV.

On Monday, the Chapel Hill Police Department released a second set of photos from a convenience store where Eve Carson's ATM card was used again. Curran said, "The person that we're looking at appears to us to be the person from the other photographs, who is the driver."

In addition to the photos being release, investigators say they found Eve's cell phone on a road between Chapel Hill and Durham. They also searched Carson's campus computer and memory card for clues. Curran says there is no evidence Carson had any previous contact with her killer. "It still feels like a random crime to us," Curran said.

With questions of gang activity circulating, Chief Curran says it's too early in the investigation to make that assumption. "That is certainly one possible scenerio. But until we identify this person and have a chance to sit down and talk to him, talking about a gang connection will just be speculation on my part," Curran said.

The Board of Trustees at North Carolina offered a $25,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in her death and police received hundreds of tips after the first two photos were released over the weekend.

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Chancellor James Moeser issued the following statement after news of Wednesday's arrest:

"We are grateful for the intense efforts over the past week by the Chapel Hill Police Department and other law enforcement agencies. Our interests are in seeing justice served and helping our community during this difficult time. We are thankful for all of the expressions of support pouring in for the Carolina family and our local community in these past few days. Those kind thoughts and prayers for Eve Carson's family and our community have made a difference."

Carson was student body president at UNC-Chapel Hill. The senior biology and political science major was also a prestigious Morehead-Cain scholar. She was remembered by thousands who gathered last Thursday at two campus memorial services.

Sunday, hundreds of mourners filled the First United Methodist Church in Athens, GA at a memorial service in her hometown.

The university will remember Carson in a formal memorial service set for 4 p.m. Tuesday, March 18th at the Dean E. Smith Center. Doors to the Smith Center will open at 3 p.m.

Stay with abc11.com and ABC11 Eyewitness News for the latest on this developing story.


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