Funeral held for North Hills murder victim

May 20, 2013 4:14:12 AM PDT
Friends and family said goodbye Sunday to the mother murdered in her Raleigh North Hills apartment last week.

Melissa Huggins-Jones was slain May 14 in her apartment in the 400 block of Allister Drive.

Huggins-Jones had just moved to Raleigh two weeks ago from Cleveland, Tenn. for a new job and a fresh start. She was originally from Elizabethtown in Bladen County and much of her family is still in the area.

She would have turned 31 on Tuesday, but instead her family spent the days before her birthday in mourning.

A steady stream of people filled Elizabethtown Baptist Church Sunday, a testament to how many knew and loved her. Those from far away came together with those who saw her grow up to remember a life cut short.

"Oh it was sad, people crying. It was a sad funeral," said funeral attendee Kenneth Kornegay. "Her pastor from Cleveland, Tennessee was here, and he went first. Our former pastor, David Elks was here. He baptized her and married her."

Huggins-Jones was recently divorced and was sharing custody of her two children with her ex-husband. She took her daughter with her to Raleigh. A friend told ABC11 her son could not transfer schools this far into the academic year so he stayed with his dad in Tennessee.

That same friend said in an effort to keep her ex-husband from tracking her whereabouts, Huggins-Jones deleted her Facebook account three days prior to her death.

Police are not saying how Huggins-Jones was killed or if the murder was a random act. She was found covered in blood by her 8-year-old daughter.

There will be another memorial service for her in Tennessee that will take place in two weeks.

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