Lyric Woods, Devin Clark

By Biodun Busari

North Carolina authorities have launched a manhunt on a 17-year-old suspect in the murder of Devin Clark and Lyric Woods on Saturday.

The Orange County Sheriff’s Office announced on Tuesday that it had filed a petition to charge the juvenile suspect with two counts of first-degree murder in shooting dead Clark and Woods.

According to Fox News, the victims Clark and Woods, an 18-year-old boy and a 14-year-old girl respectively went missing last Friday only to be discovered shot dead under power lines the following day, Saturday, September 17.

Read also: 16-year-old girl shot after attempted theft from popcorn store in US

Their both families last saw the teenagers, who were friends, on Friday. However, a pair of all-terrain vehicle (ATV) riders found their bodies on Saturday afternoon on private property in a rural area off Buckhorn Road in Mebane, less than five miles from Woods’ family home.

While Clark was a junior at East Alamance High School in Mebane, where he played football. Woods was in his first year at Cedar Ridge High School in Hillsborough.

The report says it was unclear what the pair were doing together when they disappeared on Friday or how they were shot dead by Saturday afternoon.

Reacting, sheriff’s office police information officer, Alicia Stemper said, “The suspect has been charged with two counts of first-degree murder. While that obviously speaks for itself, this was not a random act.”

The suspect was still at large according to the sheriff’s office, which pointed out to Fox News Digital in a Tuesday statement from Sheriff Charles Blackwood.

“Through the hard work of my investigators, along with the assistance of personnel from many other law enforcement agencies, we have identified a suspect in this case,” Blackwood said at the time. “We will now work with local, state and federal authorities to apprehend and present the suspect to the court system.”

The FBI has not responded to an inquiry on the identity of the suspect as the Orange County District Attorney’s Office revealed that the suspect, once in apprehended, will first appear in juvenile court.

And under North Carolina’s “Raise the Age” law, juveniles ages 16 and 17, who are accused of committing crimes in the state, are not immediately charged as adults.

After the suspect’s first appearance in juvenile court — which is not open to the public and the media — officials will determine whether to transfer the case to superior court and press adult charges, according to the DA’s office.

“In any transfer of any juvenile case to adult court, we would look at all the facts and evidence in the case,” Orange County Assistant District Attorney Anna Orr told Fox News Digital when asked about the likelihood of the suspect in this case being charged as an adult.

If the suspect is charged as an adult, his name and other information will likely be made public. Authorities are asking anyone with information to contact Orange County Investigator Keith Goodwin at 919-245-2918.

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