Three men arrested in connection to murder of 4-year old girl and her parents | Crime
CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Police have arrested three men in connection with a triple homicide which occurred at a south Charlotte apartment Tuesday afternoon.
The bodies were found inside an apartment at 7915 Oak Meadow Court in the Quail Run neighborhood off Sharon Lakes Road.
The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department identified the victims as 44-year-old Lorenzo Graves, 43-year-old Cheryl Graves, and their daughter, 4-year-old Oznola Graves.
Late Tuesday night, police arrested one suspect who they say was involved in the killings. This suspect led cops to a second man staying at a Red Roof Inn located in Charlotte.
Members of CMPD's Violent Criminal Apprehension Team (VCAT) apprehended 27-year-old Lorenzo Tyrone White, and 25-year-old Joseph Louis Amous. Police said both were charged in connection with the murders.
White is facing three murder charges, as well as robbery and kidnapping charges. He is in jail without bond.
According to the Mecklenburg County Jail website, Amous was charged with felony conspiracy robbery with a dangerous weapon and he is being held on a $50,000 secured bond.
While interrogating White and Amous, police learned the third suspect was at the Quail Run apartment complex not far from where the family was murdered.
Police returned to the apartment complex Wednesday morning to search for 20-year-old Linny Marquise Barcliff.
According to police officers at the scene, Barcliff was inside one of the apartments and climbed up into the attic. He then traveled through the crawl space to a woman's apartment located three doors down. He lowered himself through an opening in the ceiling into Angela Jeffries' bedroom where he continued hiding.
Police had already asked nearby residents to leave their apartments while they searched for Barcliff.
When the residents were later allowed to re-enter their apartments, Jeffries discovered her front door was locked. She said she didn't lock the door when police told her to leave.
Police soon realized Barcliff was likely hiding inside the woman's apartment and that he had locked her door. When they used her key to unlock the door, Barcliff ran out the back door.
VCAT and SWAT continued searching for Barcliff, but they were unable to find him.
Around 11:30 a.m., they begin breaking down their perimeter and that's when Barcliff came out from hiding. Police apprehended Barcliff and seized a weapon in which he was carrying.
Barcliff is charged with all three murders, and is also facing robbery and kidnapping charges.
The CMPD has reason to believe robbery was the motive for the murders.
Family members say the Graves knew the three suspects. They say Lorenzo Graves considered them friends.
They can't believe two of them would have allegedly murdered the couple, and they especially can't believe they would allegedly murder a four-year old girl in cold blood.
"You don't do that to a baby, " she Kim Williams, Graves' sister.
Williams says Graves and his wife were found shot to death downstairs, while the four year old daughter was found stabbed to death upstairs.
Police discovered the bodies on Tuesday around 12:21 p.m. after a relative called asking police to check on the family at the town home.
The victims were pronounced dead at the scene and the Mecklenburg County Medical Examiner's Office is conducting autopsies to determine how they were killed.
Lorenzo Graves and his daughter recently joined China Grove AME Zion Church in Pineville.
Pastor Carnell Thompson said Lorenzo sang in the choir, and had mentioned he wanted to be a pastor someday.
Thompson last saw Lorenzo during Sunday's service.
"He was singing in the choir Sunday, and everybody said he was having such a good time in the choir Sunday," Thompson said. "Not knowing that he wouldn't be there next Sunday."
Thompson described Oznola as a very affectionate little girl. The pastor said she was recently baptized at the church three weeks ago.
Neighbors at Quail Run say they are worried and shocked by the crime.
"How could somebody kill a little child?" asked Janice Nicholson, who lives in an apartment next to the one where the bodies were found.
Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call 704-432-TIPS and speak directly to a Homicide Unit Detective. Detective P. Rainwater is the lead detective assigned to the case. In addition, you may also call Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600.
Copyright 2011 WBTV. All rights reserved.
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