LUMBERTON, North Carolina (WTVD) -- The Lumberton Police Department is investigating whether a body found during the weekend is tied to two others found earlier in the year.
Megan Oxendine's body was found in the yard of an abandoned house on East 8th Street in east Lumberton. Close friends and family said the 28-year-old was naked, gagged and bloodied.
However, police have not released the cause of death of Oxendine or the other two bodies that were found in April.
On April 18, one woman was found on Peachtree Street while another was found in a dumpster on East Fifth Street. Both women were so badly decomposed that it took days for police to identify them as Rhonda Jones and Christina Bennett.
All three bodies have been sent to Chapel Hill for an autopsy that will determine the cause of death, a common denominator that police say will better help them decide whether the three cases are related.
James Maynard was a close friend of Oxendine and roommate of her boyfriend, Harley Chompson. Maynard said Oxendine struggled with addiction. She went missing last Wednesday night in search of a fix, he said. Maynard told ABC11 that Oxendine would always return home in search of help and food, but on that night, she never returned.
"I figured she'd come and find me if she needed me, but it wasn't until Harley came home and told me what happened," Maynard said.
Oxendine will be laid to rest Friday morning at Revell Funeral Home in Lumberton. The SBI is also investigating her death.