Woman indicted for tampering in grisly murder
By LeaAnne Klentzman
In July of 2011 the search for missing Raleigh, N.C. mother, Laura Jean Ackerson, ended when sheriff and fire personnel recovered her remains from Oyster Creek in rural Fort Bend County. The dismembered body of the young North Carolina mother was painstakingly recovered from Oyster Creek behind a home off Skinner Lane just north of Richmond.
Sheriff’s personnel were asked to search a residence and the surrounding property back in 2011 by North Carolina Police who were on their way to Fort Bend County. When authorities arrived at the home on Skinner Lane, the Texas family granted permission to search their property which led to the discovery of the body of Laura Jean Ackerson, 27. Ackerson was seen alive was when she dropped her two little boys off at their father’s home for the weekend in Raleigh on July 13, 2011. She was reported missing on July 18, after she did not show up for work or pick up her children.
The case took a grisly turn when divers recovered severed body parts packaged in trash bags from Oyster Creek. After the recovery of Ackerson’s body, the father of her two boys, Grant Ruffin Hayes and his wife, Amanda Perry Hayes, were arrested and charged with her murder. At the time North Carolina officials said the Hayes’ traveled to Fort Bend County and stayed with Amanda Perry Hayes’ sister, who resides on Skinner Lane. While visiting they dumped Ackerson’s remains in Oyster Creek behind that home.
In 2013 Grant Hayes, 34, was tried and convicted for the murder of Laura Jean Ackerson in Raleigh, NC. He was convicted of First Degree Murder and sentenced to life without the possibility of parole.
Early in 2014 Amanda Smith Hayes, 42, was also tried for the murder of Ackerson. She was convicted of Second Degree Murder and sentenced to 13 years in the North Carolina Department of Corrections.
Now, just recently, a Fort Bend County Grand Jury has indicted Amanda Smith Hayes for Tampering with Physical Evidence, for her part in the dismemberment and dumping of Ackerson’s body in Oyster Creek. Tampering is a Second Degree Felony punishable by not less than two years and not more than 20.
Both Hayes’ remain in the custody of the North Carolina prison system.
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