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Dysart Willis

North Carolina woman's disappearance leads to homicide charge

When a person is missing, family members as well as the community as a whole are likely desperate for answers. However, in the quest for these answers, it may become easy to jump to conclusions that are not supported by evidence. This could easily be the case in the disappearance of a 20-year-old North Carolina woman that has resulted in homicide charges.

The woman disappeared in late July. Police claim that she was last spotted at the home of a 56-year-old man who has a criminal history. In an interview with a news reporter, the man reportedly admitted that the young woman spent the night at his house. He claims, however, that she was unable to locate her keys the next morning, so he agreed that she could leave her car at his house.

Despite the fact that no body has been found, the man has been charged with murder and kidnapping. It is unclear what -- if any -- evidence found in the house supports the conclusion that the young woman is no longer alive. Police are asking anyone with information regarding the case to contact them.

A person's disappearance can cause emotional anguish for family members as well as the community at large. While the search for answers and closure is understandable, convicting an innocent person is perhaps equally as tragic. In all criminal cases, including those involving an alleged homicide, a conviction may not be obtained unless sufficient evidence is provided to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. In this case in North Carolina, a court will ultimately have to determine if that burden has been met.

Source: abc11.com, "Wilson police charge man with missing woman's murder", Andrea Blanford, Aug. 20, 2015