UNION COUNTY, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — Charges for the second suspect arrested in a teen’s murder have been upgraded to murder, according to the Union County Sheriff’s Office.
The body of a missing 18-year-old woman was found last month near the county’s border, and two people were arrested in connection to her death. As of Aug. 4, both Joshua Newton and Victoria Smith have landed murder charges.
Deputies said Kierstyn Williamson, 18, of Laurens, South Carolina, was reported missing on the morning of July 2 by family members.
She was last seen during the evening hours of Friday, June 30. Williamson was believed to be at a home in the 500 block of Bethpage Lane in Monroe, the sheriff’s office said.
Over the past 36 hours, the sheriff’s office said “countless UCSO detectives, deputies, and crime scene personnel conducted an extensive search” into her disappearance.
The sheriff’s office said “with great sadness’ “they found the body of the young woman late Tuesday afternoon, July 4, off Mangum School Road, just over the South Carolina border into Chesterfield County. They believe the body to be Kierstyn Williamson.
Two people have been taken into custody in connection to her death. Newton, 25, has been charged with first-degree murder, obstruction of justice and felony conspiracy. Victoria Smith, 22, has been charged with obstruction of justice and accessory after the fact. Smith’s charges have since been upgraded to first-degree murder and felony conspiracy, according to the sheriff’s office.
The sheriff’s office confirmed with Queen City News that Williamson met Newton online about one month ago and developed an online relationship with him before her untimely death.
Lt. James Maye with the Union County Sheriff’s Office said Newton and Smith gave misleading information to investigators on Sunday after the search for Williamson began.
Anyone with additional information, in this case, is asked to call UCSO at 704-283-3789.