FAIRMONT, NC — A teen already being held in prison has been charged in the brutal murder and rape of a 66-year-old Robeson County mother in 2015.
Zabiane Laquris Williams, now 19, was brought back from Trenton Correctional Institute in South Carolina on Thursday to face the charges in the death of Fairmont resident Patricia Dawn Hill, said Robeson County Sheriff Kenneth Sealey.
Hill was beaten to death and suffered extensive burns on nearly three-quarters of her body when she was attacked in her home in August 2015.
Earlier this year, Hill’s family said they had been living a nightmare since the their mom was killed at her Happy Hill Road home.
The crime was unsolved for more than a year – a fact that tormented Hill’s family. A $5,000 reward was also offered.
“The people that hurt momma still walk these streets to hurt someone else’s momma,” Patricia Hill’s daughter, Katrina Rogers, told CBS North Carolina in February.
Officials said an intruder broke into the home, beat Hill and set her body on fire.
Hill died of blunt force trauma to the head and 70 percent of her body was burned, authorities say.
An autopsy performed on Hill revealed she was not alive at the time of the fire.
Patricia Hill’s son John was the first to see his mom after the attack.
“If you can take an enemy and dream up the worst possible thing done to them that was done to our momma,” John Hill said.
The call on Aug. 24, 2015 initially came in as a HAZMAT situation and as authorities first entered the home, crews were met with a strong chemical odor at the door.
Five people at the scene were then taken to Southeastern Regional Medical Center in Lumberton where they were decontaminated, treated and later released.
The Hill family is well known throughout Fairmont as Patricia Hill’s husband, Ben, was a former town manager and she ran a beauty salon at a building adjacent to her home.
“She always stood on her own two feet and that’s a drive she instilled in us as well,” her son John Hill said.
Hill’s family distributed more than 1,000 flyers throughout the community, offering $5,000 for information leading to an arrest and conviction.
In May 2016, evidence led investigators to identify the suspect as Williams, who also lived in Fairmont. Williams was located in June 2016 at Trenton Correctional Institute in South Carolina, Sealey said.
On Thursday, Williams was released from Trenton Correctional Center and turned over to Robeson County Sheriff’s Office Homicide Division.
Williams was charged with first degree murder, first degree rape, first degree arson, first degree burglary and felonious larceny, Sealey said.
Sealey didn’t say how Williams ended up in Hill’s home or if they knew each other before the attack.
A judge denied bond for Williams. He wasn’t known if he had a lawyer.
Williams was in the South Carolina prison on an assault and battery charge.
Williams is currently being held at the Robeson County Detention Center.
WBTW-TV and The Associated Press contributed to this report