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HILLSBOROUGH, N.C. – North Carolina authorities are still searching for a 17-year-old suspect facing charges in the double murder of Devin Clark, 18, and Lyric Woods, 14, over the weekend.
The Orange County Sheriff’s Office on Tuesday announced that it had filed a petition to charge the juvenile suspect with two counts of first-degree murders in Clark’s and Woods’ shooting deaths.
“The suspect has been charged with two counts of first-degree murder. While that obviously speaks for itself, this was not a random act,” sheriffs office public information officer Alicia Stemper told Fox News Digital when asked if there remains a threat to the public.
The suspect was not in custody as of Wednesday afternoon, according to the sheriff’s office, who pointed Fox News Digital to a Tuesday statement from Sheriff Charles Blackwood.
“Through the hard work of my investigators, along with the assistance of personnel from many other law enforcement agencies, we have identified a suspect in this case,” Blackwood said at the time. “We will now work with local, state and federal authorities to apprehend and present the suspect to the court system.”
The FBI did not immediately respond in an inquiry from Fox News Digital.
The Orange County District Attorney’s Office told Fox News Digital that the suspect, once in custody, will first appear in juvenile court. Under North Carolina‘s “Raise the Age” law, juveniles ages 16 and 17, who are accused of committing crimes in the state, are not immediately charged as adults.
After the suspect’s first appearance in juvenile court — which is blocked from the public and the media — officials will determine whether to transfer the case to superior court and press adult charges, according to the DA’s office.
“In any transfer of any juvenile case to adult court, we would look at all the facts and evidence in the case,” Orange County Assistant District Attorney Anna Orr told Fox News Digital when asked about the likelihood of the suspect in this case being charged as an adult.
If the suspect is charged as an adult, his name and other information will likely be made public.
Clark’s and Woods’ families last saw the teenagers, who were friends, on Sept. 16. A pair of ATV riders found their bodies Saturday afternoon on private property in a rural area off Buckhorn Road in Mebane, less than five miles from Woods’ family home.
Devin Clark was a junior at East Alamance High School in Mebane, where he played football. Woods was a freshman at Cedar Ridge High School in Hillsborough.
It is unclear what the pair was doing together when they disappeared on Friday or how they were shot dead by Saturday afternoon.
Authorities are asking anyone with information to contact Orange County Investigator Keith Goodwin at 919-245-2918.