Deputies with the Columbus County Sheriff’s Office found the body of a missing Leland woman on Wednesday.
Alicia Marie Deans, 26, of Old Landvale Road, was last seen at about 1:30 p.m. April 28, reportedly driving from her Leland home to meet a friend in Whiteville, according to Emily Flax, spokeswoman for the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office.
Deputies found Deans’ body at about 3 p.m. Wednesday in a wooded area off John Coleman Road near Tabor City in southwest Columbus County, Columbus County Sheriff Lewis Hatcher announced during a press conference on Thursday.
Deans’ death has been ruled suspicious and foul play is suspected, Hatcher said. Deans’ cause of death has not yet been determined.
“I don’t think this was a random act,” Hatcher said. “I don’t see any need for the citizens of this county to be alarmed at this point.”
Deputies found Deans’ car in the Claredon area of unincorporated Columbus County on Thursday. Hatcher said there were “persons of interest” in the investigation, but would not elaborate, citing the ongoing investigation.
Brunswick County Sheriff John Ingram, who was at the press conference with Hatcher, said he had “the utmost confidence in Sheriff Hatcher and his office” in the investigation into Deans’ death.
“Alicia was known by a lot of people in our county,” Ingram said. “She was a mother of two small children. And we want the family and friends to know our thoughts and prayers are with them and her children.”