Man Arrested For One Of Rocky Mount Killings

Authorities have announced an arrest in one of the slayings of six Rocky Mount women.

The man arrested is Antwan Maurice Pittman. He was arrested for the murder of 28-year-old Taraha Shenice Nicholson.

Nicholson was reported missing February. Her body was found in March, off Marriott Road in Edgcombe County.

At a Tuesday afternoon press conference, law enforcement officials did not take questions and did not make any direct reference to the other deceased women: 31-year-old Joarniece Latonya Hargrove, 35-year-old Jackie Nikelia Thorpe, 50-year-old Ernestine Battle and 29-year-old Melody LaShae Wiggins.

Their bodies, along with a sixth body found in February still not identified, were found in the same rural area. Three other missing women with similar descriptions and backgrounds are missing.

Officials did say at the press conference the task force formed to investigate the deaths is still working. To date, the task force has put in 6,000 manhours and investigated 300 leads.

Pitman is listed on the North Carolina Sex Offender Registry website.

His address is listed as 219 Anderson Street in Rocky Mount. Pittman's reported addresses since 1997 have been in Battleboro and Rocky Mount.

His age is listed as 31.

Pittman was convicted in 1994 of indecent liberties with a minor in Edgecombe County. The victim's age was two. He was released from prison in 1997.

According to the North Carolina Department of Corrections website, Pittman was convicted of DWI in Nash County in 2006.

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Authorities in North Carolina are expected to announce a development in the slayings of six Rocky Mount women.

The Edgecombe County Sheriff's Office said Sheriff James Knight would hold a news conference Tuesday afternoon to discuss developments in the cases but would not give details.

The sheriff's office formed a task force in June with the State Bureau of Investigation and asked the FBI to consult after a sixth body was found along rural roads outside Rocky Mount. Authorities have not confirmed the deaths are related.

The first woman was reported missing in 2005. Three other women are still missing.

Authorities say the women share similar backgrounds.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.

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