Search finds woman’s body, suspect arrested

Hoke County Sheriff’s Office investigators found a missing woman dead inside a home in South Hoke and have a homicide suspect in custody, and also located a missing child, according to authorities.

Lumberton Police Department officers charged Donny Dwayne Sessum, 41, in connection with the case, after he reportedly attempted to flee from arrest.

A neighbor noticed that 38-year-old Jessica N. Hall hadn’t been seen in several days and contacted the sheriff’s office, Hoke County Sheriff Dr. Hubert Peterkin said. Investigators obtained a search warrant and just after midnight Tuesday searched a house on the 200 block of Applewood Lane. The emergency response team found Hall dead inside the home, apparently shot to death, the sheriff said.

The sheriff’s office contacted the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) for assistance with the crime scene and help locating a missing child. Hoke authorities notified Lumberton police, who located the suspect and pursued him in a car chase. After the chase police detained him without further incident, according to a press release.

Law enforcement also found the missing child, who was not injured, the sheriff said Wednesday.

Sessum was taken before a magistrate and was denied bond. He is charged with murder, Peterkin said.

Authorities haven’t yet determined a motive in the case. The investigation is ongoing.

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