make WWAY your homepage  Become a fan on facebook  Follow us on twitter  Receive RSS Newsfeeds  MEMBERS: Register | Login

3 charged in Bladen County native's murder; blunt force trauma cause of death


RALEIGH, NC (WWAY) -- Police say a Bladen County native found dead in her Raleigh apartment earlier this month died of blunt force trauma.

According to investigators, on May 14th, Melissa Huggins- Jones’ bloody body was found by her 8-year-old daughter at their North Raleigh apartment. The young girl then sought help from construction workers in the complex.

Tuesday, Raleigh Police arrested 23-year-old Ronald Lee Anthony JR., 20-year-old Travian Devonte Smith, and 18-year-old Sarah Rene Redden, in Wake Forest, for the mother of two’s murder.

“Most people are killed by someone they know. The random murders are few, but they are the ones that frighten us the most," Colon Willoughby, Wake County District Attorney said in his news release.

Police say Anthony has a criminal record which includes a felony and robbery with a dangerous weapon. They also say Smith was on probation for an unrelated charge at the time of the murder.

Some who know Redden say she is also a mother and they are shocked to learn of her alleged involvement.

“I was kind of surprised. I did not really think that someone I know could actually do that," Steph Hershaft, a former classmate of Redden said.

Others said she has a temper.

"She just had this massive attitude sometimes and could be really scary," Kaila Sammons, another former classmate and co-worker said.

Raleigh Police say they believe the crime is related to recent car break-ins occurring in that area.

Huggins-Jones would have turned 31 years old on Tuesday. She had moved to Raleigh from Tennessee two weeks before her death for a new job and a fresh start.

"She was just so dependable, trustworthy and outgoing. People gravitated to her because of her dynamic personality," recalls Heather Mintz, a friend of Huggins-Jones.

(Information from The Associated Press was used in this report)

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.



The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

More information about formatting options

To prevent automated spam submissions leave this field empty.
Please re-enter the code shown in the image below.