St. Pauls woman’s body identified

Jessica Lawrence (RCSO)
Jessica Lawrence (RCSO)

The State Medical Examiner has confirmed that the body found off a Rowland road was Jessica Lawrence.

Deputies and search crews  found Lawrence’s remains Monday during a ground search off Tom M. Road, Sheriff Burnis Wilkins said in a press release. ,

Lawrence, 42, of St. Pauls and High Point, was reported missing on Oct. 12 by a family member. 

“This is not the information we wanted to hear but sadly, as expected we have terrible news to report,” Wilkins said. “I spoke with Jessica’s mother today and while this does bring a little relief to the family as to her being located, I can assure the public that we plan to bring the person(s) to justice that were involved in this heinous crime.”

Investigators are continuing to conduct interviews and follow up on leads. The investigation is ongoing. A registered sex offender was arrested while driving Lawrence’s Jeep a few days after she was reported missing.

The Cape Fear Valley hospital employee was reportedly planning to leave on a trip the day after she disappeared. Relatives and friends became concerned when she did not come to work.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; State Bureau of Investigation, State Highway Patrol Aviation Division; Robeson County Search and Rescue Team; N.C. Search and Rescue Team; a state cadaver dog; Robeson County Emergency Management and Robeson County EMS assisted with investigation and searches.

Anyone with information regarding this investigation is asked to contact the Robeson County Sheriff’s Office at (910) 671-3100 or (910) 671-3170.

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Jefferson Weaver is the managing editor of and news director for WTXY radio. He can be reached at 910.632.4965, or by email at