Body found inside suitcase along North Carolina river

A body was found Monday in a suitcase along the shore of the Neuse River in North Carolina.
A body was found Monday in a suitcase along the shore of the Neuse River in North Carolina.

Credit: TNS

Credit: TNS

Officials have not yet confirmed connection to missing pregnant woman

Authorities in Durham, North Carolina, discovered a body inside a suitcase along the shore of the Neuse River Monday but would not say if the remains belonged to a 28-year-old pregnant woman who vanished in the area last week.

Raleigh police called the Wake County Sheriff’s Office to investigate after a passerby made the gruesome find on the Neuse River Trail in Wake County, according to The Herald-Sun.

“We do have persons of interest that we are interested in talking to,” said Sheriff’s spokesman Eric Curry.

The body, located near the 5400 block of Allen Drive, was reportedly unidentifiable. Officials also did not reveal whether the victim was male or female.

“It’s not every day, it’s not every morning that you find what could be a person’s body in a suitcase, in a river,” Sheriff Gerald Baker told WTVD-TV, adding that it was “safe to say this was no accident.”

Investigators are treating the death as a homicide. Few other details were revealed about the circumstances or manner of death. Curry said the state medical examiner’s office plans to conduct an autopsy.

Brittany Samone Smith was last seen Thursday in Wendell, where she was reported missing near Fox Run Drive and Hodge Road, according to The News & Observer. By Sunday, the sheriff’s department announced they were gathering evidence and searching for her.

Smith is described as 4-foot-11, 115 pounds and “noticeably pregnant.”

Her family gathered Monday at the crime scene in search for answers, reports said.

“We’re going to work very hard. We’re going to find out who was responsible. I can tell you that,” said Baker. “Because these things just don’t happen. Someone is responsible. If this is, in fact, this young lady that we’ve been looking for all weekend, someone is responsible for that.”

The sheriff’s office asked anyone with information on the case to call 919-856-6911.

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