Fayetteville neighbors heartbroken after mom charged in young son’s murder

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) — A community is heartbroken and looking for answers after police say a Fayetteville mother fatally attacked her 9-year-old son in a hotel over the weekend.

Fayetteville Police charged 35-year-old Crystal Matthews with murder after they say she killed Zamarie Chance late Saturday morning.

Police say Matthews assaulted her son in a hotel room at the Fairfield Inn and Suites on the 4200 block of Ramsey Street. Police say Chance died at a hospital later from blunt force trauma.

Matthews lived on the 6000 block of Whitemoss Court in Fayetteville, according to police.

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There are only nine houses along the street. Neighbors told CBS North Carolina the news impacted their small community.

No one wanted to speak on camera, but neighbors were in tears talking about what an amazing person Chance was.

Neighbors say Chance went to school and played with their children. They told CBS North Carolina off-camera it is difficult trying to explain the situation to their children.

They say it’s hard telling their kids their friend will not be coming back.

“My heart was broke,“ said Kitty Warren. “Nine years old — she just took his whole life,” she added.

Warren lives a few homes away from where police say Matthews lived.

She says she knows what it’s like to have a son pass away. Her son died when he was 25 in a car accident.

But Warren says she can’t come close to understanding how a mother could kill her own flesh and blood.

“It’s just pitiful to know that some mother was that mad, and disturbed to hurt her child and kill it,” said Warren.

Matthews is being held without bond at the Cumberland County Detention Center.

She will have her first court appearance Monday at 2:30 p.m.

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