RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — The Wake County Sheriff’s Office has confirmed that the body found inside of a suitcase along the Neuse River is that of a missing pregnant woman and have charged two people in her death.
Officials confirmed the new details in a Wednesday night press conference.
The state medical examiner’s office positively identified the body in the suitcase as 28-year-old Brittany Simone Smith, who was pregnant and reported missing days ago.
The Wake County Sheriff’s Office arrested Thomas Clayton Johnson, 37, and Emmalei Grace Trevathan, 24, during a traffic stop Wednesday afternoon in Raleigh. Both face charges of murder, murder of an unborn child, and concealment of a body.
Johnson and Trevathan have been booked into the Wake County Detention Center where they are being held without bond.
The search for Smith began over the weekend. Search crews came upon the body in the suitcase Monday morning off Allen Road.
Allen Road is just west of the Neuse River and north of New Bern Avenue.
“It’s safe to say that this is no accident,” Wake County Sheriff Gerald Baker said.
“No one deserves to die like that,” said Dale Williams, a friend of Smith. “Frightened, in pain, and alone.”
In the hours following the grisly discovery, Wake County Sheriff’s deputies served a search warrant on a Wendell home.
“I offered to let them in because I had nothing to hide,” said Williams.
According to Williams, deputies weren’t interested in what was inside of his home but focused outside where Smith and her boyfriend had been living in a tent for months.
“I didn’t have the means to put her up inside,” said Williams of Smith. “This certainly beats living under a bridge.”
When Smith disappeared Thursday night, Williams said her boyfriend was beside himself.
“Cody loved her very much,” said Williams.
Deputies questioned the boyfriend after Smith’s disappearance, but he wasn’t considered a suspect.