Deputies with the Halifax County Sheriff’s Office found the body – identified Friday as 43-year-old Christine Boone – in a wooded area March 5 behind the former Scotland Neck home of Antwan Maurice Pittman.
Authorities arrested Pittman, 31, in September and charged him in the murder of Taraha Nicholson, one of seven other Rocky Mount women found dead in swampy and wooded fields around the east border of the city since 2003.
Boone was among three missing women who fit a similar profile of the seven victims – each was black, had a history of drug abuse and prostitution, and moved through the same social circles, according to family and friends.
Authorities would not say what prompted them to search around the vacant trailer at 98 Nasturtium Lane in Scotland Neck, where Pittman lived as recently as 2006. The residence is a 45-minute drive away from where all the other victims were found.
Boone’s sister, Minnie Jones, said she was overcome by emotion when authorities contacted her Friday.
“I was shocked,” Jones said. “I’m hurt, I’m devastated, and I’m mad. I’m very mad.”
Jones said the revelation brings some closure after more than three years of questions, but not enough. She wept as she spoke over the phone.
“It has brought some closure,” Jones said, “but I’m waiting for justice.”
Nash County authorities first arrested Pittman in July after he failed to update his address as a registered sex offender. A month later while still in jail, Pittman was charged with first-degree murder in Nicholson’s death, but authorities won’t say what evidence they have linking him to the case.
Pittman, who plead not guilty to Nicholson’s murder in October, has not been charged in Boone’s death.
Boone leaves behind three children and seven grandchildren.
“We want the public to know that while this case is complex and ongoing, law enforcement is working diligently to resolve this matter,” Police Chief John Manley said.
Talk of a serial killer stalking poor women has swirled through East Rocky Mount much of the past year.
In June, authorities revealed that a federal, state and local task force, led by Edgecombe County Sheriff James Knight, had been investigating possible connections between the unsolved deaths of Jarniece Hargrove, 31, Elizabeth Smallwood, 33, Taraha Nicholson, 28, Ernestine Battle, 50, Jackie Thorpe, 35, and Melody Wiggins, 29, and Denise Williams, 21.
Some in the community have called for the 2005 death of Travis Raregus Harrison – a 25-year-old crossdresser found naked and strangled in a field off East Virginia Street – to be included in the multi-agency probe.
Investigators have been careful not to say whether or not they have evidence showing the deaths are linked, but they said they believe similarities in the victims’ backgrounds and the circumstances of their deaths are enough to at least raise the suspicion of a possible serial killer.
All of the victims were found mostly naked in remote locations, and at least a few had been strangled, according to autopsies.
Jackie Wiggins, the mother of one of the victims, said she also was shocked by the news Friday. Wiggins is president of the group Parents and Relatives of the Missing and Murdered, a victims’ rights advocacy group formed last year in the wake of the slayings.
Wiggins said she had doubts about Pittman’s guilt prior to Friday.
“I got a red flag that’s really waving toward me now, and there is not even a breeze in the air,” Wiggins said. “I had my doubts about Pittman all along, but out of the blue today, this girl is found in the same area where he lived. That seems fishy to me.”
A $20,000 reward is offered to anyone with a tip leading to an arrest in the deaths. Anyone with information about the case is asked to call Twin County Crime Stoppers at 252-977-1111
NOTE: After reading this article, I had a theory. As we all know, Jalesa Reynolds – who went missing Feb 23, 2010 – is from Scotland Neck, NC where Christine Boone body was found.
Christine Boone’s body according to this article was found March 5th, 2010. Coincidentally, that same day the judge over Jalesa’s case placed a gag order on the police in order to “quiet rumors”. Just a few days later, Judge Alma Hinton issued a gag order on everyone involved in the investigation of missing Scotland Neck woman Jelesa Reynolds.
“According to the Halifax County Clerk of Courts Office, the gag order came Friday because the investigation involves sensitive information and there is to be no public discussion until the situation changes. It will take another order to give investigators the right to talk.”
Is this what they were keeping quiet about? About the fact that yet another black woman body was found and they don’t want the public to know that it’s possible that Jalesa’s body could be found next? (hopefully she is alive and well but this is a possibility)
Is it the fact that Christine Boone’s body was found behind Antwan Maurice Pittman’s (who was arrested and charged in September for the murder of Taraha Nicholson, one of seven other Rocky Mount women found dead in the area) home which is less than 5 minutes from the library and the house where Jalesa Reynolds was last seen?
FYI, Antwan lived near where most of the other women bodies were found. Check out this map that points out where the victims were found and Antwan previous residents. The thought that they are just now finding Christine body months after his arrest is scary.
Are there more victims we don’t know about? We caught Antwan, but is there an accomplice that is following in his footstep and waiting for the next victim to cross his path? Was Jalesa vulnerable enough to fall into the trap of a murderer?
Where’s the outcry about this? Why would the judge want to keep this from the public? What if my theory was a fact and the lack of media attention is keeping us from finding Jalesa and bringing her back home alive?
Hopefully we will know something soon. We can’t lose another missing black woman. We’ve seen what happened with the Ohio serial killers and his victims – police was so tight-lipped about things that Anthony Sowell was getting away with killing 11 black women (and possibly more) without anyone catching on.
For now , I’m watching Jalesa’s case closely. When will the police warn the public that it’s possible that several (I know it can’t just be one) murders are on the loose? I’m scared for black women of North Carolina, this is not a good look.