NASHVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) — A woman charged with murder after human remains were found Thursday made her first court appearance in Nashville on Friday morning.
Kimberly Hancock, 49, is charged with first-degree murder after authorities found human remains believed to be Deborah Deans, who was last seen in January 2004.
The two were roommates when Deans disappeared, according to the Charley Project.
Detectives are still working to confirm the identity of the remains found.
Around 5 p.m. Thursday, the Nash County Sheriff’s Office was executing a warrant to search land along the 1400-block of Wiley Road in Spring Hope. Deputies were acting on information pertaining to the location of a body.
According to details from the Charley Project, Deans was last seen after getting into an argument with Hancock on the morning of Jan. 19, 2004. Deans called someone to pick her up then left with that person, Hancock said.
Deans left behind four children — including one infant. Their grandmother took custody of two of the children while the infant and a 5-year-old were placed in foster care.
Investigators said they were led to home on Wiley Road after sources relating to the case came forward.
Property records show that was the home Hancock and Deans shared.
On Friday morning, family members from both sides were in the courtroom. Deans’ family weren’t the only ones there expressing their emotions. When Hancock’s family left, you could hear her daughter sobbing.
A judge told Hancock, “Mrs. Hancock you have the right to remain silent. If you speak it may be used against you in court. It’s alleged by the state of North Carolina that on or about Jan. 19, 2004, or sometime between then and Oct. 24, 2019, you did unlawfully, willfully and feloniously with malice and forth all kill and murder Deborah Elaine Deans.”
The judge then set a probability cause hearing for Nov. 7.
Hancock remains in custody without bond.
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