HILLSBOROUGH, N.C. (WNCN) – The Orange County Sheriff’s Office announced an official juvenile petition has been filed against a teenager in the weekend deaths of Lyric Woods, 14, and Devin Clark, 18, who both vanished Friday night and were found dead Sunday.
A juvenile petition is a formal pleading that initiates a juvenile court case and to have one appear in court. It is also filed by a juvenile court counselor.
Authorities have filed a petition against a 17-year old-for two counts of first-degree murder in the death of Woods and Clark, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office said Tuesday afternoon.
A homicide investigation was opened after Orange County Sheriff Charles Blackwood said Monday the bodies of Woods and Clark were discovered Sunday afternoon by ATV riders in western Orange County.
“Through our ongoing investigation, we have information that suggests the two individuals located off Buckhorn Road yesterday (Sunday) are Lyric Woods, 14, and Devin Clark, 18,” said Blackwood in a statement previously reported by CBS 17.
The sheriff’s office said family members reported Lyric missing Saturday afternoon to the Orange County Sheriff’s Office. Lyric, a 9th grader at Cedar Ridge High School, was last seen Friday night at her home and a deputy filed the missing person’s report in the National Crime Information Center Index at about 3:45 p.m. Saturday, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office said.
Clark’s family contacted the Mebane Police Department on Sunday with concerns about his whereabouts, according to the sheriff’s office.
Clark, who was from Alamance County, was last seen at 11 p.m. Friday at his Mebane home and an officer entered him into the NCIC system just after 1:40 p.m. Sunday, according to a report from Mebane police and the Orange County Sheriff’s Office.
The bodies were found around 3 p.m. Sunday “just off a powerline easement” off Buckhorn Road in western Orange County, officials said.
“Through the hard work of my investigators, along with the assistance of personnel from many other law enforcement agencies, we have identified a suspect in this case,” Blackwood said Tuesday. “We will now work with local, state, and federal authorities to apprehend and present the suspect to the court system.”
As of Dec. 2019, 16 and 17-year-olds “who commit crimes in North Carolina are no longer charged automatically in the adult criminal justice system. If there is a notice of indictment or the court finds probable cause for a Class A-G felony committed by a 16- or 17-year-old, a district court judge shall transfer the case to superior court. First-degree murder is a Class A felony,” the sheriff’s office clarified in an official release Tuesday.
He continued, “I want to thank the families of Devin Clark and Lyric Woods for trusting us and the investigative process during this excruciatingly painful time. I hope the apprehension of this subject will bring them some comfort as they mourn their loved ones.”
No information on the 17-year-old suspect has been released.