Young mother’s dismembered body found in creek 1,200 miles from home after ‘she was killed by ex-boyfriend and his wife’
A married couple allegedly murdered the husband’s ex-girlfriend then drove her body 1,200 miles across the country where they hacked her apart and dumped her dismembered remains in a creek.
Laura Ackerson, 27, vanished from Kinston, North Carolina almost two weeks ago. She was reported missing after she failed to pick up her two young sons from her ex-boyfriend’s house for a weekend visit.
The beautiful young mother had been involved in an acrimonious custody battle with Grant Hayes, the father of her two children.
Police have now charged Hayes and his wife, Amanda, with murder after Miss Ackerson’s dismembered body was found in Oyster Creek, Texas, close to where Mrs Hayes’s sister lives.
They claim the couple bought several ice chests and a U-Haul just days after Miss Ackerson disappeared, and used them to transport her body to Texas.
Officers also recovered a machete from an outhouse near where her body was found.
The couple married in April 2010, shortly after Hayes broke up with Miss Ackerson, who he had been dating for several years.
Charged: Grant and Amanda Hayes allegedly murdered his ex-girlfriend, Laura Ackerson, and drove her body to Texas where they dumped it in a creek
Miss Ackerson was last seen on July 13,when she dropped the boys off with Hayes. She was reported missing on July 18, three days after she didn’t show up to collect her sons Grant, three, and Gentle, one for a weekend visit.
In an interview shortly after Miss Ackerson went missing, Hayes’s mother Patsy told ABC News: ‘They [the boys] get over things a lot faster and they could probably not be affected by things as much as adults are.
‘You know because they are small and they’re very resilient so they probably figure they’re just staying with dad now.’
A judge granted Hayes temporary custody of the boys in June, after an acrimonious custody battle stretching back to March 2010.
He ruled Miss Ackerson was unfit to look after her children because at the time she was unemployed and still living with Hayes’s parents.
WHAT HAPPENED TO LAURA ACKERSON?
July 13 – Miss Ackerson last seen dropping off her two boys at the home of Grant Hayes in Raleigh.
July 15 – Miss Ackerson fails to show up to collect the boys from a gas station in Wilson.
July 18 – Friend and business partner reports Miss Ackerson as missing.
July 20 – Miss Ackerson’s car found in parking lot of apartment complex.
July 24 – Texas police find dismembered body in Oyser Creek, Fort Bend County.
July 25 – Raleigh police arrest Grant and Amanda Hayes.
She had the boys at weekends and they stayed with their father during the week.
She met him at a gas station in Wilson every Friday at 5pm to pick them up – until July 15.
According to her friend, Jo Jackson, Miss Ackerson was doing her best to get the boys back.
She started her own marketing business from home and had been taking online courses at Lenoir Community College.
She had also started going to church, and the congregation of the Grace Fellowship Church in Kingston had been praying for her safe return every day after she went missing.
Miss Jackson said: ‘We know that Laura would not just not show up to pick up her children. That is not Laura. That is not Laura at all.’
She was due to attend a court hearing on August 15, at which she planned to ask for joint custody of the boys.
She was reported missing by her friend and business partner Chevon Mathes, who said she was happy and had been finding new clients for the company.
She said: ‘She always had her little boys and she seemed like great mother.’
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