The husband of a North Carolina woman who had been missing since June has been charged in connection with the woman’s death after law enforcement authorities discovered her body in a secluded wooded area last week, a collection local news outlets has reported.
The Sampson County Sheriff’s Office announced that 49-year-old Carl Earl Andre Wiggins, who had been taken into custody last month on separate charges, was formally charged with first-degree murder for allegedly killing his wife Kiara Rene Wiggins, 39.
Just In: Kiara Wiggins' body found in woods in Clinton, Sampson County Sheriff's Office confirms https://t.co/4UflUbbLcm
— WRAL NEWS in NC (@WRAL) August 4, 2021
According to a report from The Sampson Independent, deputies met with County District Attorney Ernie Lee on Monday and determined there was sufficient probable cause to charge Wiggins, who appeared for a preliminary hearing Wednesday morning.
“The District Attorney’s office will also soon be in contact with the family of Kiara Wiggins and provide them with the victims’ rights services they are entitled to and deserve during this difficult time,” said Lee.
The sheriff’s office said that while the State Medical Examiner’s Office has not yet released Kiara’s official cause of death, it did conclude that she died of “homicidal means.”
Kiara’s body was found in the forest located just off of Boykin Bridge Road last Monday, Aug. 2.
“My Office, along with the District Attorney’s office will continue to work together to bring Kiara’s family the closure and justice deserved. I ask for continued prayers for her family moving forward and know they will find the comfort needed through community support,” said Sheriff Jimmy Thornton during a Wednesday news conference. “I want to emphasize that this was a daily and continuous process that completely consumed investigators. This office placed considerable resources and time in this case to ensure that this case would be solved.”
Kiara was reported missing on June 18 after her family said they had not heard from her in nearly two weeks. The family also told police that they had been unable to get in touch with Carl Wiggins.
Investigators on June 19 discovered that Carl, who was wanted for questioning, had been spotted driving a 2003 black Ford SUV that had been reported stolen two days earlier, according to a report from NBC News. Four days later, authorities again spotted the stolen car being driven by Wiggins, who led police on a protracted high-speed chase that spanned several counties before he crashed the vehicle.
He was arrested and questioned about his wife’s sudden disappearance, but reportedly refused to cooperate with investigators.
“I would like to thank the family of Kiara for showing strength and support throughout this entire investigation. More so, I would like to thank them for their extreme patience and understanding through this entire process” Lt. Marcus Smith said.
Wiggins is currently being held in the Sampson County Detention Center without bond.
[image via Sampson County Sheriff’s Office]
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