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2 charged with killing missing pregnant woman found in bag, Wake County sheriff says

The Wake County Sheriff’s Office charged two people with killing 28-year-old Brittany Smith and her unborn child after officials confirmed the missing woman’s body was in a bag found near the Neuse River Trail, Sheriff Gerald Baker said Wednesday night.

Thomas Clayton Johnson, 37, and Emmalei Grace Trevathan, 24, have been charged with murder, murder of an unborn child and concealment of body. They were arrested Wednesday in Raleigh at a traffic stop.

What started as a missing person’s case turned into a homicide investigation Monday morning, Baker said Wednesday. Raleigh police contacted the Sheriff’s Office after a witness reported a body had been found along a section of the Neuse River Trail, near Allen Drive.

The body was taken to the Medical Examiner’s Office, which identified the remains as Smith’s.

Baker said many aspects of the case remain under investigation, including a possible motive and whether Smith knew Johnson and Trevathan.

Detectives said Wednesday that the initial cause of death is strangulation.

Smith was reported missing Thursday, The N&O reported. She was last seen near Fox Run Drive in Wendell. Dale Williams told The News & Observer Tuesday that Smith and her boyfriend had been living in a tent in the backyard of his Wendell home since June.

Baker said detectives searched the property for clues to her disappearance. But further investigation led detectives to Johnson and Trevathan at an unidentified motel. Read from source….