Saturday, May 21, 2022

Bladen County pair arrested for death of UNCW student in Rocky Point

Raymond Brooks, 33, and Myasia Morange, 18, were arrested for the death of a UNCW student named Christopher Duane Stewart. (Port City Daily photos/Courtesy PCSO)
Raymond Brooks, 33, and Myasia Morange, 18, were arrested for the death of a UNCW student named Christopher Duane Stewart. (Port City Daily photos/Courtesy PCSO)

PENDER COUNTY — On Tuesday, Raymond Brooks, 33, and Myasia Morange, 18, were arrested for the murder of UNCW student Christopher Duane Stewart, who was found dead late last month at a park in Rocky Point.

Stewart’s body was discovered on the Friday morning of March 27 at Millers Pond Park, according to the Pender County Sheriff’s Office. Stewart was a junior at the University of North Carolina of Wilmington before his death.

RELATED: Second body found in Pender County in two days was UNCW student, treated as homicide investigation

Moragne and Brooks were arrested at their homes in Council, an unincorporated community in southern Bladen County, approximately 30 miles northwest of Wilmington.

Both are being held at the Pender County Jail in Burgaw under no bond and each are charged with first degree murder, robbery with a dangerous weapon, and conspiracy to commit armed robbery with a dangerous weapon.

Sheriff Alan Cutler will provide more information at a Wednesday morning press conference following their first appearances.

According to WECT, Stewart, who served in the Army in Afghanistan before he was accepted at UNCW, was “found brutally murdered.”

“He was either overtaken, or was with somebody he trusted and let his guard down,” Patricia Walker, Stewart’s aunt who saw her nephew’s body days after his death, told WECT.

The PSCO announced the arrests late Tuesday, just before midnight. After Stewart’s body was discovered, it was announced his death was being treated as a homicide.

The PCSO has not yet announced a cause of death in the case.

Law enforcement found his body after the body of a previously missing Wilmington woman was found in Hampstead the prior evening, on March 26. Deputies had been looking for Hannah Nicole Smith, 18, since her grandmother filed a missing report the day before. But she had last made contact with her family by telephone a week before, on March 18.

According to the family, Smith’s boyfriend was pulled over while driving Smith’s 2005 Buick on Sunday, four days after the phone call with her grandmother, but her daughter was not inside the vehicle at the time.


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