WILMINGTON — Two Wilmington women reported missing this week have been confirmed dead after being found in the remains of a suspected arson fire in Columbus County.
Tiffany Cartwright, 35, and Eva Joe Jones, 60, both of Wilmington, were found Monday night in Columbus County, according to Wilmington Police Department Spokeswoman Cathryn Lindsay. The mother and daughter were reported missing to the Police Department Monday afternoon.
The reporting party stated both women had not been heard from since midday Friday, March 31, and missed church and work obligations, Lindsay said.
At about 9:15 p.m., Monday, the Columbus County Sheriff’s Office, North Whiteville Fire Department and Evergreen Fire Department were dispatched to a brush fire call in the northern portion of the county. When they arrived on scene they found a barn fully engulfed in flames.
In the preliminary investigation of the structure fire, sheriff’s deputies discovered two bodies inside of the burnt barn. The fire has since been ruled as arson, Lindsay said.
Wilmington Police detectives have been unable to locate Jones’ 2002 silver Saturn SL1, with the North Carolina license plate YZA-5017, and they are asking the public’s assistance in locating the car.
A joint investigation into the case is being conducted between the Wilmington Police Department, Columbus County Sheriff’s Office, Horry County Police Department and N.C. State Bureau of Investigation.
The investigation is ongoing. Detectives are asking anyone with information to call the Wilmington Police Department at 343-3609 or Text-A-Tip by texting “CRIMES” and starting the text with “Tip708.” All texts to Text-A-Tip are anonymous.