MACON, NC (FOX Carolina) — The Macon County Sheriff’s Office announced that deputies are investigating human remains found during the search for a missing woman.
Deputies said their investigation began when a family member filed a ‘missing person’ report on Friday and told them she had not heard from her sister for several weeks. Following this report, deputies began working with the family member and the Rabun County Sheriff’s Office to try to locate the missing woman or people she was spending time with. During their initial investigation, deputies said they limited their search to two areas in Macon County.
“Based on credible information, two locations have been considered possible crime scenes and a meticulous search would be conducted by our team,” Macon County Sheriff Robert Holland said. “The first crime scene was a location where the missing person was last seen alive and the second is where the missing person may currently be.”
On Friday evening, deputies secured both scenes and began executing search warrants with the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigations and the District Attorney’s Office. Members of Otto’s Fire Department and the Chief Medical Examiner’s Office also assisted in the search. Deputies said they identified Christopher Shields as a person of interest. He was called in for an interview and released. However, he became their prime suspect after further interviews and further investigation.
Deputies from the Rabun County Sheriff’s Office located and detained Shields during a traffic stop while he was traveling to Georgia. Macon County deputies then traveled to Rabun County and formally charged Shields with kidnapping. According to the deputies, additional charges will be filed when the time comes.
“Although we would like to provide more details, our investigation remains a very active investigation. Investigators continue to gather evidence and conduct additional interviews,” Holland said. “We are no longer treating this investigation as a missing person case. We have recovered human remains and believe these remains will eventually be identified as our original missing person. This investigation is now being conducted as a homicide investigation. We do not assume the identity of the remains we have and will do everything we can to identify them as quickly as possible. In the meantime, we will continue to conduct a thorough investigation. Positive identification and cause of death may take some time, but I’m confident detectives will find these answers and the answers to many other questions.
Anyone with information regarding this investigation is asked to contact Robbie Younce with the Criminal Investigations Unit at (828) 349-2268. People can also submit tips anonymously by calling the Crime-Stoppers Hotline at (828) 349-2600 or using the Macon County Sheriff’s Office app.
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