The case of a pregnant 18-year-old North Carolina woman found dead inside a car Sunday night is being investigated as a double-homicide, as authorities say she was carrying a full-term fetus, PEOPLE learns.
Aiyonna Clarice Barrett’s body was found at around 8 p.m. in a car parked on a dirt road in Southern Pines. Police haven’t said how she or her unborn child died.
A statement from Southern Pines police says investigators plan to pursue “justice not only for Aiyonna Clarice Barrett,” a resident of Sanford, “but for her full term unborn child as well.”
Aiyonna Clarice Barrett
The statement adds that “this incident does not appear to be a random act of violence.”
Chief Bob Temme said in the statement his department “shares the pain and sorrow felt by all” involved, and asks that the public come forward with any information on Barrett’s death.
“Please draw comfort in knowing that the entire Southern Pines Police Department has pledged an unwavering commitment to the relentless pursuit of justice for all concerned,” Temme said. “Our thoughts and prayers will be with you in faith and sympathy.”
WRAL spoke to Barrett’s mother, Ebony Gomez, who said her daughter was looking forward to her high school graduation in June.
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“She was 18, but her maturity was just … she had it set up to where she’d be at her own place. She had a car. She was working. She’d enrolled in community college,” Gomez told the station.
Gomez said Barrett could not wait to meet her little “jelly bean.”
“They took what was supposed to be such a beautiful moment, a blessing to this family, and ripped it apart,” she said. “My daughter didn’t just die. Her life was taken in a brutal way.”
Tips can be called in to the Southern Pines Police Department at (910) 692-7031 or (910) 693-4110. All information will be kept confidential.