Mother Devastated After Daughters Remains Identified

A mother is devastated after hearing the news that remains found in the woods are those of her daughter who had been missing for over a year.

Juray Tucker says, "It's devastating because she's my only child and to know that I'll never see her again, it's terrible."

On Friday Edgecombe County Sheriff James Knight confirmed that remains found in the woods off Battleboro-Legget Road by a hunter were those of Yolanda Lancaster.

Lancaster had been missing since February 2009. Since 2005 more than 10 women have gone missing in the same area of Edgecombe and Halifax counties, all of them with similar backgrounds. 8 of those women have now been found dead.

Now Tucker is searching for answers for her daughter’s killer. She says, "She went off with somebody and they did something to her. I just don't know, there's so many things.

Antwan Pittman is charged in one of the deaths and suspected in others.

A group of these mothers have come together to form parents and relatives of the murdered and missing now as P.R.OM.M. They meet twice a month. Their goal is to try and bring attention to what’s going on, and see if there is any news to report.

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Remains found Monday night in Edgecombe County near where several others bodies have been found in recent years have been identified as one of the individuals the sheriff's office suspected.

Sheriff James Knight says hunters found the remains on private, posted property off of Battleboro-Leggett road, close to Speights Church road. He notified the families of Yolanda Lancaster and Joyce Durham, who are both missing. Sheriff Knight tells WITN the remains have been identified as Lancaster's, who disappeared in February 2009.

Seven womens' bodies found in that area and in nearby halifax county in recent years. All of those victims were African-American women who had been involved in drugs or prostitution.

Antwan Pittman is charged in one of the deaths and suspected in others.

The State Bureau of Investigations, state medical examiner's office, and an anthropologist from ECU helped in this latest case.

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An East Carolina University forensic anthropologist will analyze the human remains found in Edgecombe County on Monday.

Dr. Megan Perry says studying bones can give authorities a good idea of a person's characteristics.

Dr. Perry says she helped collect the Edgecombe County remains. A hunter found the bones on private property off of Battleboro-Leggett road. She says the bones have been transferred to the Pitt County morgue, where she'll help forensic pathologists analyze them on Thursday.

Dr. Perry says "We'll get an idea if the bones are male or female based on the shape of the skull and that kind of thing. We'll look at how tall they are by measuring some of the leg bones, we'll get an idea of what racial category they fit into." Dr. Perry says the analysis usually lasts about 4 or 5 hours.

The Edgecombe County Sheriff's Office says it notified the families of two missing Rocky Mount women about the remains. It says Yolanda Lancaster disappeared in February 2009 and Joyce Durham was last seen in June of 2007.

Seven bodies have been found in the area and in nearby Halifax County in recent years, and all of those victims were African-American women who had been involved in drugs or prostitution.

Antwan Pittman is charged in one of the deaths and suspected in others.


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