Man dies after being found badly injured in Raleigh cemetery, teen girl charged with murder

Wake County News

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – An arrest has been made in a homicide that happened at Mt. Olivet Cemetery near the N.C. State campus Friday night.

Maria Elizabeth Pena-Echeverria, 18, has been charged with murder in connection with the death, according to a news release from Raleigh police Saturday night.

Officers responded to the cemetery after receiving a 911 call around 10 p.m. They found a man with serious injuries. Police didn’t say what kind of injuries the man sustained, but said he was pronounced dead at the hospital.

The victim was identified Saturday night as James Lacy Taylor, 69, according to Raleigh police.

The cemetery is difficult to spot, and adjacent to Schenck Forest. It’s located a few miles from N.C. State’s main campus, but because it’s technically on university property, an emergency alert was sent to students.

“I’m enrolled at N.C. State, so I got the notice of this crime yesterday evening,” said Gary Jesmok. “It was very sad to hear because I walk here a lot alone.”

Witnesses reported seeing two men and a woman leaving the scene in two vehicles, an extended cab pick-up truck that was lifted and an older model brown or blue four-door sedan.

Both vehicles fled toward Reedy Creek Road.

Pena-Echeverria has been transported to the Wake County Detention Center.

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