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Antwan Maurice Pittman: Have Police Caught a Serial Killer in Rocky Mount, North Carolina?

By Pete Kotz in homicide, serial killers
Wednesday, September 2, 2009 at 10:25 am
Antwan-Maurice-Pittman.jpg
Antwan Maurice Pittman, charged with strangling a woman in March
Since 2005, six women have been murdered near Rocky Mount, North Carolina. Another three are missing. But police now believe they've solved at least one of the slayings.

Antwan Maurice Pittman, a registered sex offender, is charged with the murder of Taraha Shenice Nicholson, 28, who was found strangled in the woods in March. Investigators are still probing whether Pittman may have been involved in the other killings and disappearances, which targeted prostitutes and drug addicts.

Pittman was convicted in 1992 of sexual abusing a 2-year-old, for which he spent just three years in prison. He also has lesser convictions for crimes ranging from assault to resisting arrest. But police either don't know -- or won't say -- whether he had a hand in the dead bodies that have been turning up in this rural area for the last four years...

According to the Charlotte Observer, Melody Wiggins, 29, was the first victim found by police in 2005. She'd been killed by blows to the head and stabbed repeatedly.

Jackie Thorpe, 35, was found nude in a pile of trash behind a burned out crack house in 2007. Her head and arm were detached from her body.

The nude body of Ernestine Battle, 50, was found last year in the woods, though a cause of death has yet to be announced.

And in June, the skeleton of Jarniece Latonya "Sunshine" Hargrove, 31, was found in the woods by a farmer just off a field.

The skeleton of another unnamed woman was found in February, but she hasn't been identified.

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