Edgecombe Co. Sheriff Says Task Force Following Leads

Authorities say more than 300 leads have come in since a task force was formed to investigate the deaths of five women in Edgecombe County.

Sheriff James Knight says investigators are working to exhaust all leads in the women's murders. The cases this week received national attention and some friends of the victims have questioned whether authorities are doing enough to solve the cases.

Knight says new leads are being developed daily and all available resources are being used. The sheriff says it would not be appropriate to release any specific details on the investigation.

The FBI is providing assistance with the investigation.

The bodies of two women were found in a field between Battleboro and Whitakers in Edgecombe County. They were 31-year-old Joarniece Latonya Hargrove and 35-year-old Jackie Nikelia Thorpe. Also found in the same area were the bodies of 50-year-old Ernestine Battle; 29-year-old Melody LaShae Wiggins; and 28-year-old Taraha Shenice Nicholson.

A sixth body found in February has yet to be identified, and three other missing women with similar descriptions and backgrounds are missing.

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