20-year-old charged with killing father’s fiancée

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BLADEN COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — A Bladen County man has been arrested and charged with killing his father’s fiancée.

Sheriff James McVicker says Marquail Allen Burney, 20, of Bladenboro, was arrested around 11 a.m. in Lumberton. Burney is charged with last night’s murder of Crystal Dionne Cruz at 10235 NC Highway 41 West in Bladenboro.

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Investigators say Cruz lived with her fiancé David Burney, who is Marquail’s father. David Burney reported Cruz missing around 11:37 p.m. He told officers he came home from work that evening and thought she was in the bedroom asleep, but when he went to check on her he could not find her.

When deputies arrived at the home, David Burney told them his fiancée was missing and his son walked away from the house when he questioned him about her disappearance. After a short search, deputies found Cruz’s body in a vehicle in the backyard of the home.

Investigators say Marquail Burney stole a vehicle shortly from a nearby business after walking away from the home.  They found him and the vehicle at a retail store parking lot in Lumberton around 10:30 a.m.



Marquail Burney is in the Bladen County Jail under no bond charged with first-degree murder.

“We are still collecting evidence and our investigation is continuing,” Sheriff McVicker said in a news release. “We are coordinating our efforts with the District Attorney’s Office, and I expect there will be additional charges forthcoming.”