Wake County deputies find body of teen who vanished after head-on crash

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) —  The Wake County Sheriff’s Office has located the body of Lauren Maria Jenkins, who had been missing since Friday night.


Jenkins, 17, was involved in a head-on crash late Friday night at the intersection of Leesville Road and Oneal Road, the North Carolina State Highway Patrol said.

Sheriff’s office officials say Jenkins was last seen walking away from the crash and had not been seen or heard from since.

Officials say her body was found in a wooded area Sunday near the intersection where the crash happened, which was in north Raleigh.

Authorities were searching for Jenkins around 7 a.m. Sunday in the area of the 8700 block of West Lake Court, Wake County deputies said.

A K-9 officer picked up a scent near two ponds in the woods and then spotted a neighbor pointing toward the ponds, according to officials. The neighbor found Jenkins’ body near the two ponds.

Jenkins was driving with two passengers in her vehicle when the crash happened late Friday night, the N.C. State Highway Patrol said.

Troopers said Jenkins was turning onto Oneal Street when she failed to yield and collided head-on with another vehicle.


The two passengers were injured and Jenkins left the scene, according to Troopers.

On Sunday afternoon, N.C. Troopers were back out at the Friday night crash scene measuring distances along Leesville Road.

Leesville Road High School student Kobe Wheeler says he knew Jenkins.

“It’s definitely devastating to the Leesville community as a whole and the student body. We obviously are a big family here at Leesville. We take care of each other and its definitely devastating and kind of shocking to all of us right now. We always come through and we will always be there for each other,” Wheeler said.

The school will have grief counselors on hand Monday.

Authorities said that it is unknown if alcohol was a factor in the crash.

Jenkins’ body will be sent to the North Carolina Medical Examiners Office to determine the cause of death.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Wake County Sheriff’s Office at 919-856-6911.

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