After weeks of unease, a suspect has been detained in the double homicide of Lyric Woods, 14, and Devin Clark, 18, who were found murdered last month in North Carolina. The unnamed suspect is a juvenile, according to the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, so their identity will not yet be released to the public.
Sheriff Charles Blackwood said in a statement: “We hope this apprehension provides some relief to the families and friends of Devin and Lyric, who have experienced an excruciating loss. Obviously, the capture of the suspect does not restore their loved one to them. The grieving process is a long one, and we hope the community will continue to support them in their pain.”
Teenagers Woods and Clark were found murdered on an Orange County trail on Sept. 18. Soon after, police announced that a 17-year-old was the prime suspect in their deaths, but did not release any more information, frustrating friends and family. “We can’t find his phone, we don’t know where his backpack is,” Clark’s uncle, Joe Concepcion Jr., tells Rolling Stone. “We don’t know nothing. We didn’t even have an open funeral. They had to put the pieces together.”
Mallory Thornton, the mother of one of Woods’ friends, says that her child and her friends have been scared to go to school with a suspect on the loose. “These children are literally fighting over this case,” she tells Rolling Stone. “[Blackwood should] come out and look these children in the face and say, ‘Hey, I understand what you’re saying, but I’m not at liberty to say certain things about the case, I just want to reassure you that you’re safe.'”
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In the statement, Blackwood addressed the lack of information about the suspect: “We understand our community is hungry for information to help process this tragedy; however, the laws regarding juvenile confidentiality are ironclad. We have no ability to set them aside, even given the heightened interest in this case.”
The Sept. 18 911 call made by the ATV riders who discovered the teens was previously released to the press; a local blogger, Gerald Jackson, tells Rolling Stone he obtained it via FOIA. However, when Rolling Stone attempted to FOIA the 911 call made the night Woods went missing, an Orange County official told us “the Orange County District Attorney’s office has a court order to not release any records or files related to this call and they have been sealed.” Rolling Stone‘s request for the 911 call made after Clark went missing is still outstanding.