Police: Body found is missing Goldsboro teen

Kennedy Fitzgerald McLaurin Jr.
September 22, 2012 9:00:00 PM PDT
Authorities have confirmed that the body found in Seven Springs in September is missing 16-year-old Kennedy Fitzgerald McLaurin Jr. of Goldsboro.

Police said Thursday that DNA testing confirmed that they are the teen's remains. An autopsy report is still pending from the North Carolina State Medical Examiner's office in Chapel Hill.

An Amber Alert was issued for McLaurin after witnesses told investigators that the teen was abducted by three or four men on Sept. 9. They said the men forced McLaurin into a car in front of a housing project on Bain Street. His body was later found on Sept. 22.

The day before his remains were located, police searched an area along a dirt road in a farm field near Seven Springs, which is about 20 miles from where McLaurin was last seen.

Detectives did not locate McLaurin's body at the time, but said they did find evidence from the crime.

Four men -- 21-year-old Leonard Eugene Joyner, 19-year-old Jerome Jilah Butts, 17-year-old Curtis Omar Etheredge, and 18-year-old Kevin Edward Smith -- have all been charged with murder in connection with McLaurin's death.

They are currently still in custody awaiting trial, according to authorities. All four could face the death penalty or life in prison without the possibility of parole.

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