Wake County man charged with murder; woman found dead in Virginia

Wake County News

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — A man has been charged in the death of a Wake County woman the same day a woman’s body was found in Virginia over the weekend, officials say.

The case began on Saturday when Wake County deputies contacted Southampton County Sheriff’s Office detectives.

Wake County officials said that a homicide suspect might be in Southampton County, Virginia, according to a Tuesday news release from the Southampton County Sheriff’s Office.

The suspect was seen later Saturday night and was arrested on a warrant from Georgia, the news release said.

Aaron Lance Stephen, 37, was charged Sunday in the murder of Wake County resident Kelly D. Johnson, officials said.

Aaron Lance Stephen in a photo from the Southampton County Sheriff’s Office

Also Sunday, an unidentified woman was found dead in woods along Little Texas Road in Branchville, Virginia, according to the news release. The body was taken to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner’s Office in Norfolk, Virginia. The Medical Examiner’s Office has not released any details as of Tuesday night.

Stephen was charged in Virginia as a fugitive from justice, the news release said.

Tuesday, a charge of concealment of a dead body was filed against Stephen.

Stephen is being held in the Southampton County Jail without bond.

Neighbors on Walking Stick Trail in north Raleigh said investigators have been at Stephen’s home since Saturday. They said the two were dating and that she recently moved in.

Neighbors said Johnson was last seen about two weeks ago and that her mother became concerned. She asked for a welfare check, which is what brought investigators to the home. 

Investigators could not confirm the information from neighbors. 

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