Body identified as Rocky Mount woman


She was reported missing to the Rocky Mount Police Department on January 16, 2007 and was last seen on August 25, 2006 at 801 S. Grace Street in Rocky Mount by a family member. Police said the address at 98 Nasturtium Lane is a vacant mobile home presently, but they said Antwan Maurice Pittman lived there in 2006. Pittman was arrested in September 2009 for death of Taraha Nicholson and is in the custody of the Edgecombe County Sheriff's Department.

He has not been charged in Boone's death and police said the investigation is ongoing.

Six other women found slain

Pittman is just charged with the single murder. Police have not called him a suspect in six other deaths.

In addition to Nicholson, Ernestine Battle, 50, Jackie Nikelia Thorpe, 35, Melody Wiggins, 29, and Jarneice Hargrove, 31, were all found between 2005 and early this year in the same rural area outside Rocky Mount.

The body of the first woman - Wiggins - was found in May 2005 on Noble Mill Pond Road. She'd been beaten and stabbed.

Thorpe was found in August 2007. Her head and an arm had been cut off.

In February, skeletal remains that have yet to be identified were found, and then Battle was found in March, 2008 in some woods. The medical examiner said it was not possible to determine a cause of death.

Nicholson was found in March, and Hargrove was found in June by a farmer.

Two other women are missing.

Yolanda Lancaster, 37, and Joyce Renee Durham, 46, have not been heard from by their families for months.

The victims all had similar backgrounds. All were linked to drug abuse and possible prostitution.

Investigators have refused to speculate on whether the killings are the work of a serial killer.

Public's help needed

Police say they need the public's assistance in providing any information they may have. Anyone with information in the Boone death investigation is asked to contact Halifax County Sheriff Jeff Frazier or Major Bruce Temple at (252) 583-8201.

Anyone with information in the other cases can contact Twin County Crime Stoppers at (252) 977-1111.

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