Memorial service to be held for Laura Ackerson

Laura Ackerson (Image source: Linked in)

July 28, 2011 8:17:41 AM PDT
Friends and family will gather this weekend to remember the young mother from Kinston who was brutally murdered.

The memorial for Laura Ackerson is scheduled for Saturday at 2 p.m. at the Grace Fellowship Church in Kinston. It is open to the public.

Ackerson's remains were found Sunday in Oyster Creek in Texas. Identification was made through dental records days later. The 27-year-old was reported missing on July 18.

Raleigh police have arrested and charged the father of Ackerson's two sons, 32-year-old Grant Ruffin Hayes, and his wife, 39-year-old Amanda Perry Hayes with murder in connection with Ackerson's death.

Raleigh detectives have joined investigators in Fort Bend County Texas to figure out exactly how Ackerson died before her was dismembered.

Texas deputies say they believe Ackerson was killed in North Carolina and then dismembered. A medical examiner in Texas is doing an autopsy on the remains gathered from a creek.

Investigators found several ice chests at scene and said it's likely the coolers were used to transport body parts in a rented U-Haul from North Carolina to Texas.

Amanda Hayes' family owns a home near where the body parts were found.

Officials say the motive for the alleged killing remains unclear.

Ackerson's 2006 white Ford Focus was found last Wednesday near an apartment building at 5400 Summit Manor Lane in north Raleigh. Ackerson, Hayes, and their children once lived at the complex and a woman living there told ABC11 Hayes' current home is not far away.

Ackerson and Hayes have been involved in a custody battle over their children for more than a year. Hayes was granted primary custody of the children in 2010.

Her family says even before Ackerson was reported missing, she was estranged from the family because, they say, Grant Hayes kept her away.

"Very controlling and very manipulative," Ackerson's brother Jason Ackerson said. "It was hard to contact her without her getting in fear of her life her ex-boyfriend. And we should have taken the threats more seriously. Grant Hayes and his wife are monsters."

Grant Hayes is a local musician in Raleigh, who is known by the stage name, Grant Haze. According to social networking sites, he and his wife recently had a child together.

In a video posted online of Grant Hayes, he claimed his wife is an actress.

"She's been in some movies and TV shows and she's also a guitar player and I'm her instructor," Hayes said in the video.

The couple married last year.

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