HOPE MILLS, N.C. -
The two teenagers charged in the brutal death of a Hope Mills girl were booked at the Cumberland County Detention Center Wednesday while students at the school she attended reacted with sadness, confusion – and anger.
On Tuesday, police announced that Danielle Locklear’s former boyfriend, 17-year-old Je’Michael Malloy of Autryville, is charged with second-degree murder. A second suspect, 18-year-old Dominic Lock, now faces a charge of second-degree murder, police said Wednesday.
Locklear went missing March 11 and was last seen leaving her grandfather's house. Police said she met up with Malloy and the two got in a fight. Police say he confessed to choking Locklear to death and stuffing a sock in her mouth.
Police said Malloy and Lock tied cinderblocks to her body and dumped her in the South River on the county line between Sampson and Cumberland counties, not far from Malloy’s home.
The suspects appeared in court Wednesday afternoon. They are being held on $100,000 bond.
Locklear's aunt Chena Simmons said the Malloys and Locklears know each other.
"We all know each other," Simmons said. "I know his mother is hurting as well."
South View Principal Brian Edkins described Locklear as bubbly and full of life.
A prayer vigil has been planned for Thursday before school.
Superintendent Frank Till with Cumberland County Schools said Malloy and Lock were students at Cape Fear High School. Till said Malloy was a soccer player and had no disciplinary referrals on his record.
“When you look at his record, there's nothing to indicate this type of behavior," Till said. "If you went back six weeks and you had to pick people who you thought would do this, neither one of these young men would have been picked."
The Facebook pages of Malloy and Locklear showed they started a relationship in June 2013. Till said he heard differing reports about if the two were still in a relationship at the time of Locklear's death.
"At one point they had a relationship – a recent relationship,” Till explained.
Grief counselors are on hand at South View High School to help her friends cope with the stunning news.
"I made an announcement to the students and it's just what you would expect. There's some grieving going on. There's some anger. There's a lot of questions that kids have but one thing about South View, they're family, they're going to be there for each other and they're supporting each other," said Edkins.