Just about a week after a body was discovered in South River, at the Cumberland-Sampson line, a teenager has been arrested and authorities are one step closer to positively identifying that body as a missing 15-year-old Hope Mills girl.
While there has still been no positive ID that links the body found last week to that of Danielle Locklear, a confession by the teen’s boyfriend coupled with a description of the victim and the clothing she was wearing at the time of her disappearance has led Cumberland County authorities to acknowledge the body as that of Locklear.
A press release issued by Cumberland authorities in the last hour indicated as much. That same release noted that Je’Michael Malloy of Hwy. 210 South, Autryville, has been charged with second degree murder in Locklear’s death and is currently being interviewed by sheriff’s detectives and members of the Hope Mills Police Department.
A second man, Dominic Lock, 18, of the 1300 block of Cade Hill Ave., Fayettteville, is currently being questioned in connection with the incident. He is expected to be charged with conspiracy in Locklear’s death, Cumberland authorities said.
Locklear was reported missing on March 11, when she left her grandfather’s home in the Fox Meadow subdivision to walk to a friend’s house. Locklear did not reach her destination and never returned to her home. Her grandfather reported her missing the next day.
Malloy, the release noted, told authorities he was with Locklear on March 11 and that an argument between the two turned violent, ending with the 17-year-old choking Locklear to death and stuffing a sock in her mouth.
Then Malloy and a friend tossed Locklear’s body into South River.
It was in that river, on April 3, that an off-duty Cumberland County Sheriff’s detective spotted the body floating in South River. Cinder blocks had been tied to the victim’s body.
Asphyxiaition, the Cumberland release stated, was determined to be the cause of death.
Although Malloy has been charged, and Cumberland authorities have said the body is that of Locklear, there has still been no formal nor positive identification of the bod
Sampson County Medical Examiner Dr. Carl Barr said Tuesday DNA results and not dental records will be the determining factor pathologists will use to positively identify the body. That ID had not been made tonight.
“The last word I had was that there would be no conclusive decision until those DNA results came back,” Dr. Barr said in a telephone interview Tuesday. “I would assume it will be expedited, but I honestly don’t know how long that may take.”
As the medical examiner of record in the case, Dr. Barr was allowed to watch the autopsy, performed last week at the state Medical Examiner’s Office in Raleigh, and he will be the person charged with completing the death certificate for the female.
Speculation has run rampant since last weekthat the body could be that of Locklear, but Dr. Barr said nothing had been confirmed Tuesday afternoon.
“I was told it hasn’t been ruled out, but there has been no conclusive evidence that it is her at this point,” the Sampson medical examiner stressed.
The confession, Cumberland authorities said, led them to acknowledge that the body was Locklear’s even though the final ID from pathologists had not been made.