Family of young mother killed in Johnston County double murder asks why

NEWTON GROVE, N.C. (WNCN) – The family of the 24-year-old woman found murdered Thursday afternoon in Johnston County is speaking out.

Jessica Pyatte, 24, and Matt Jones, 30, were found shot to death in Jones’ home on Unity Drive in Newton Grove.

Pyatte was shot in the head and according to family members, because of her wounds, it took two days to identify her.

Matt Jones and Jessica Pyatte
Matt Jones and Jessica Pyatte (Photos provided by family members)

The family said officials had to use fingerprints and Pyatte’s distinctive tattoos to establish a positive identification.

They believe Pyatte was at Jones’ home to braid his hair. Although she wasn’t a professional stylist, her family says she loved to braid, color and cut people’s hair and did it often for many people.

Pyatte leaves behind three daughters, an 8-year-old and 3-year-old twins. They are now staying with relatives.

Pyatte’s aunt, Blair Stevens, told CBS North Carolina Pyatte was “the kind of person that did anything for anybody.”

“You could call her and she’d be right there,” Stevens recalled. “She was a good mom who loved her children and loved her family.”

Jessica Pyatte and her mother
Jessica Pyatte and her mother Michelle (Photo provided by family)

Earlene Griffin, Pyatte’s grandmother, said she was really close to her mother, Michelle, who’s now in seclusion because she’s having a difficult time dealing emotionally with the loss of her daughter.

“Now we are worried about what will happen to her mother because Jessica was with her all the time,” Griffin said.

Like Jones’ family, Pyatte’s family is struggling to understand why.

“What would cause someone to walk into someone’s house and kill somebody like that and leave a toddler walking around with blood all over him?” Griffin asked.

Jones’ 2-year-old son was found in the home unharmed. He is now staying with family members.

“They’re sick people out there,” added Griffin. “I hope they catch them and the system makes them pay for what they’ve done.”

A GoFundMe account has been set up by Pyatte’s family to help with funeral expenses.

Authorities are investigating the murders as a double homicide but no motive has been released.

Anyone with information is urged to call the Johnston County Sheriff’s Office.

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