Search warrant connects Rocky Mount murder suspect to five slain women
ROCKY MOUNT, N.C. — A man already charged with first-degree murder in the death of a Rocky Mount woman is also believed to be involved in the deaths of four other women with similar profiles, according to a search warrant obtained by WRAL News on Monday.
The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation searched a former residence of Antwan Maurice Pittman after his arrest in the strangling death of Taraha Shenice Nicholson.
Pittman was charged with first-degree murder in Nicholson’s death. Her remains were found on March 7, 2009, on Marriott Road in Edgecombe County, two weeks after the 29-year-old was reported missing. DNA found on Nicholson’s body matched that of Pittman, according to the search warrant.
Probable cause exists to believe Pittman was also involved in the deaths of Jackie Nikelia Thorpe, Ernestine Battle, Jarniece Latonya Hargrove and Christine Marie Boone, according to the search warrant.
Records show Pittman also once lived near a wooded area off Seven Bridges Road, near Rocky Mount, where remains of two of the women were found.
The warrant describes how North Carolina Highway Patrol Trooper J.J. Scott, responding to a report of an accident in a ditch along Seven Bridges Road, found Pittman asleep in the driver’s seat of a vehicle on April 25, 2009.
That same day, family members reported last seeing Hargrove. Her remains were found on June 29, 2009, about 200 yards from where the trooper said Pittman was parked.
Pittman had dirt on his boots and his pants were unzipped, according to the warrant. He was arrested and charged with driving while impaired, according to the Highway Patrol.
Thorpe’s remains were found Aug. 17, 2007, in the same area along a Seven Bridges Road, between Battleboro and Whitakers in Edgecombe County. She had been reported missing in May 2007.
Battle’s remains were found in the same area on March 14, 2008. She had been missing since February 2008.
Pittman grew up and worked on a farm near the vicinity of where those three bodies were found in Edgecombe County, according to the search warrant.
Halifax County sheriff’s deputies found Boone’s remains March 5 in a wooded area behind another known Pittman residence, 98 Nasturtium Lane in Scotland Neck.
After the discovery, authorities searched a home at that location on Friday.
According to the search warrant, authorities believe Boone might have been killed at the home. DNA testing was done at the home, according to the Halifax County Sheriff’s Office.