Murder suspects make first court appearance in Elizabeth Spencer case

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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) Two people arrested in connection with the murder of a New Bern woman made their first court appearance on Monday.

Leon Mitchell is being held without bond.

Tyrabia Parker also appeared in court.

She is being held on a $756,000 bond.

Members of Elizabeth Spencer’s family tried to enter the courtroom for the proceedings.

They were told they weren’t able to go inside unless they were directly involved in a case because of COVID-19 concerns.

Spencer’s family said they want her alleged killer to know he won’t get away with it.

“It’s awful,” said Jocelyn Buzby, Spencer’s half-sister. “I wouldn’t wish this on anybody. No one deserves to lose their sibling or any family member.”

Crews searched for just over three weeks for Spencer.

They found her remains on Friday in a secluded area of Jones County.

“Now, since Friday, it’s more of just like an empty feeling knowing that she’s not coming home,” said Elizabeth Laroche, Spencer’s step-sister. “It’s just a completely different feeling.”

Laroche and Buzby both say they hope Spencer’s case will bring more attention to missing people who don’t fall under an Amber or a Silver Alert.

“She’s not any less of a missing person because she’s not 10 or 90,” said Buzby.

Police are still trying to figure out a motive.

“It’s certainly…I hate to say rewarding. It’s a tragic case, but it’s good to see that those responsible will see justice and the family of Mrs. Spencer has some type of closure,” said Captain David Daniels of the New Bern Police Department.

Both Mitchell and Parker next court appearance will be on July 28.

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On Friday, with the assistance of the State Bureau of Investigation, Craven, and Onslow County Emergency Services, the Jones and Craven County Sheriffs’ Offices, the remains of Elizabeth Andrea Spencer were located in a secluded area of Jones County.

The New Bern Police Department said that Leon S. Mitchell, 35, of New Bern was arrested on First Avenue in New Bern and has been charged with an open count of murder.

Mitchell’s sister, Tyrabia A. Parker, 41, of Jones County, was arrested in Craven Terrace in New Bern and charged with accessory after the fact, police said.

Both Mitchell and Parker were placed in the Craven County Jail pending a first appearance in court.

The circumstances surrounding the death of Spencer are still under investigation.

If you have any information contact the New Bern Police Department at (252) 633-2020, the TIPS line at (252) 636-5034, or the Craven County Crime Stopper line at (252)633-5141.

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NEW BERN, N.C. (WNCT) The search continues for a missing Craven County woman.

The New Bern Police Department said that Elizabeth Andrea Spencer, 30, of New Bern, is described to have blonde hair with brown highlights reaching to the middle of her back, hazel eyes, approximately 5′ and 160lbs.

Police said she was last heard from on June 16 at 1:30 a.m. by her family.

Spencer was last seen wearing blue jeans and a white v-neck t-shirt.

She has a tattoo of three stars on the left side of her neck.

Spencer was last seen driving a 2004 White Chevrolet Suburban with an N.C. plate: ZXZ-6715.

According to police, the circumstances surrounding her disappearance are still under investigation.

SBI search crews suspended the search on Tuesday due to rain but resumed the search Wednesday morning.

If you have any information about this case contact the New Bern Police Department at 252-633-2020, the TIPS line at 252-636-5034, or the Craven County Crime Stopper line at 252-633-5141.

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