NAACP draws attention to unsolved murders

A vigil held Sunday by NAACP honored the lives of the women murdered and prayed for those still missing in Edgecombe County

April 25, 2010 7:09:19 PM PDT
The NAACP held a prayer vigil on Sunday to bring attention to a string of unsolved murders in Edgecombe County. Several women with similar backgrounds have been found dead in the same area, two more are missing.

People gathered on Sunday to pray for the victims, in hopes of bringing closure to their families.

A similar prayer vigil was held to raise awareness for the crimes back in July of 2009.

The NAACP says the prayer service on Sunday to honor the lives of the women who have been murdered, pray for those still missing, and ask for god's guidance to help the families and communities impacted by the murders.

Extensive searches have been conducted around the Edgecombe county area.The latest involved members of the National Guard.

Latest body identified

March 31, Rocky Mount police said skeletal remains found March 27 were identified as 40-year-old Roberta Williams. People riding four wheelers off Seven Bridges Road found Williams about 20 yards inside a tree line.

Williams was last seen in the spring of 2008 by a family member in Rocky Mount. She was never reported missing because she was considered to be a homeless person.

In addition to Nicholson, Williams, and Boone, the bodies of Ernestine Battle, 50, Jarniece Hargrove, 31, Jackie Thorpe, 35, Melody Wiggins, 29, Elizabeth Jane Smallwood, 33, and Denise M. Williams, 21, have all been discovered dumped in wooded areas. Investigators said most of the women had a history of drug abuse and prostitution - which likely made them more vulnerable.

Possible Pittman connection

Antwon Pittman has been charged with murdering one of the women but a search warrant says there is probable cause to believe Pittman is responsible for killing possibly five women altogether. Two women are still missing.

Pittman has a criminal record. According to the North Carolina sex offender registry, he was convicted in 1994 of taking indecent liberties with a 2-year-old. He was released from prison in April 1997. He was also once charged with loitering for prostitution.

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