MOUNT PLEASANT, SC. (WCIV) -- A community picks up the pieces after the murder of one of their own.
Dara Lee Watson was a Boone, North Carolina native, and the news has shaken the tight knit town. Police confirmed on Saturday, Watson's body was found after having been missing for twelve days.
"It is with sadness and regret we stand before you ... we have confirmed the body discovered ... in the Francis Marion National Forest off of Halfway Creek Road is in fact Dara Lee Watson," Mount Pleasant Police Chief Harry Sewell said at a press conference on Saturday.
Investigators say Watson died from a single gun shot wound to the head and say her fiancé David Hedrick is responsible
"Throughout the investigation it appears Dara was killed inside her home between Monday and Tuesday evening by David Hedrick," Chief Sewell said. "He then transported her inside of her GMC envoy to Halfway Creek Road where he proceeded to bury her body in a shallow grave."
Police found Watson's body about 60 yards from where Hedrick burned her car and left it in the woods. A witness saw Hedrick coming out of the forest with a shovel. Officials discovered that Watson's fiance was planning to leave town, before taking his own life in their Mount Pleasant home.
In Watson's hometown of Boone, North Carolina, reaction to the news was a mix of heartbreak and relief that she had been found.
"It's closure in one sense, but by the same token, it's knowing your worst fears have come true," Boone resident Don Channell said.
A steady stream of people paid their respects to the 30 year old Saturday night, outside the Watson family store. It's a store where locals say they watched Watson grow up.
"They're a family that has meant a lot to this community and a lot to the businesses here in Boone," Channell said. "Just a good family, just good people and a tragedy what happened."
Police say the investigation is still ongoing in order to complete forensic analysis in this case.
Wednesday, February 22 2012 6:51 PM EST2012-02-22 23:51:23 GMT
Friends and family gathered at the Mount Vernon Baptist Church in Boone, N.C. Wednesday for the funeral of Dara Lee Watson. A poem, chosen by her mother, graced the inside of the funeral program.More >>