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North Carolina cemetery murder: 18-year-old woman charged after man found fatally injured

Written by on May 31, 2021

An 18-year-old woman in North Carolina has been charged with murder after a 69-year old man was found fatally injured in a cemetery. 

Raleigh police on Saturday night announced the arrest of Maria Elizabeth Pena-Echeverria. She has been charged with murder and is being held at the Wake County Detention Center.

Officers responded to Mt. Olivet Cemetery after receiving a 911 call around 10 p.m. Friday, WNCN reported. 

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Police found a man who was seriously injured. Authorities have not said how the man was hurt. He was declared dead later at a nearby hospital.

On Saturday, police identified him as James Lacy Taylor. The investigation is ongoing. Authorities have not released a potential motive. 

This photo provided by the Raleigh Police Department shows Maria Elizabeth Pena-Echeverria, 18, charged with murder after a fatally injured 69-year old man was found in a North Carolina cemetery. (Raleigh Police Department via AP)

This photo provided by the Raleigh Police Department shows Maria Elizabeth Pena-Echeverria, 18, charged with murder after a fatally injured 69-year old man was found in a North Carolina cemetery. (Raleigh Police Department via AP)

The cemetery is adjacent to Schenck Forest, which is managed by North Carolina State University. 

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Campus police put out an alert Friday night saying witnesses saw a woman and two men leaving the scene. Two separate vehicles fled toward Reedy Creek Road. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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