Police identify teen found dead behind Durham home

DURHAM (WTVD) -- The Durham Police Department says a 17-year-old girl was found dead behind a house in Durham on Saturday afternoon.

The body of Tierra Hall was found in the 4100 block of Trotter Ridge Road around 4:45 p.m., authorities said.

Hall's body was discovered by neighbors checking out a house for sale, authorities said.

"We walk around the back and there's a lady laying asleep - we think she's asleep - but anyway she's laying behind the house on the ground," said a caller to 911. "We thought good gosh it's too cold to be laying around in short sleeves."

Hall - of the 4200 block of Garrett Road - was a student at Charles E. Jordan High School.

A source told ABC11 that she appeared to have severe head injuries.

Durham Police said they are investigating the case as a homicide but said Monday that they do not believe it was a random act.

The discovery of the teen's body in a quiet residential area has left neighbors in shock, and left many of her classmates reeling from the news.

ABC11 spoke to some of her friends on Sunday. They told us she was a good friend, someone who was quiet and didn't bother others, and someone who wouldn't leave you without a laugh or a hug.

John Deberry lives next door to where the body was discovered. He was shocked by the news.

"I never in my wildest dreams would have anticipated something like this happening in this neighborhood," Deberry said. "We've lived here since '92 and I've never witnessed anything like this."

Deberry said this is the second crime to have been committed in his neighborhood in the past week.

"Monday morning, about 4:30 in the morning I was awakened by police that there was, I think, seven houses total with cars that people had broken in and mine was one of them," Deberry explained.

He said he later learned two girls were arrested, but now he's wondering if these events could be related. Durham police wouldn't comment on that speculation.

For the sake of Hall's family and friends, Deberry hopes police can solve this case soon.

"Oh gosh, you got to feel for them. You feel for the parents, you feel for the kids that went to school with her," Deberry said. "This is damaging [for them] and this is really terrible."

Anyone with information is asked to call Investigator J. Barr at (919) 560-4440, ext. 29325 or CrimeStoppers at (919) 683-1200. CrimeStoppers pays cash rewards for information leading to arrests in felony cases and callers never have to identify themselves.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the family with funeral costs. Click here to visit the page.

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