The 17-year-old suspected of killing two North Carolina teenagers was arrested Wednesday, more than two weeks after the victims were found shot to death, authorities said.
The teenager had been on the loose since ATV riders found the bodies of 14-year-old Lyric Woods and 18-year-old Devin Clark near a dirt road under a power line easement in Orange County on Sept. 18.
Orange County sheriffs quickly filed a petition charging the unnamed suspect with two counts of first-degree murder, but spent weeks tracking down the teenager.
Authorities have not released the identity of the alleged killer or the circumstances surrounding the arrest because of the state’s strict juvenile protection laws.
“We understand that our community is hungry for information to help process this tragedy; however, the laws regarding juvenile confidentiality are ironclad. We have no option to override them, even given the heightened interest in this case,” said Sheriff Charles Blackwood in a Wednesday statement.
In North Carolina, 16- and 17-year-old criminals are not automatically tried as adults, although the case can be transferred to a Superior Court.
The possibility that the suspect could be tried as a juvenile has sparked outrage from family and friends of the murdered teenagers.
“It’s hard for us to process everything that’s going on because we don’t have any details,” said Clark’s aunt Crystal Hughes. “Our lack of information just isn’t equal to us.”
Both Woods and Clark, who were friends, were both reported missing the weekend they were found dead.