A body found in a wooded area of Sampson County, North Carolina earlier this week has been identified as 39-year-old Kiara Wiggins, the Sampson County Sheriff’s Office confirmed to Dateline on Wednesday.
Kiara, who was featured in Dateline NBC’s “Missing in America” shortly after she disappeared, has been missing since June 9, 2021. She was last seen at her home in Roseboro, North Carolina.
The search for Kiara came to a heartbreaking end Monday when her body was located off Boykin Bridge Road near Clinton in Sampson County.
Investigators met with Kiara’s family Monday evening with an update that preliminary findings indicated that the body found was Kiara.
The family posted online that they believed the body was Kiara and asked that the public keep the family in prayers during this difficult time.
Lieutenant Marcus Smith of the Sampson County Sheriff’s Office told Dateline that the body was taken to the State Medical Examiner’s Office, and on Wednesday was positively identified as Kiara. A cause of death has not yet been determined.
“We understand the devastation this death has brought to Kiara’s family and friends, but we know our community will respect and provide the support they need throughout the journey ahead,” Lieutenant Smith said in a press release.
Early on in the search for Kiara, the family was given hope when her husband, Carl Wiggins, who was wanted for questioning in his wife’s disappearance, was arrested back in June following a multi-county car chase regarding a stolen vehicle.
But Wiggins refused to cooperate with the investigation of his wife’s disappearance, Sheriff Jimmy Thornton told WRAL, and the family’s hopes for clues leading to Kiara were dashed. Wiggins remains in jail on unrelated charges.
Kiara’s sister Judy Murray previously told Dateline that while she hadn’t given up hope, she did fear Kiara was no longer alive. She said at that point, the family would just like to “find her body and put her at rest.”
“We're looking. Baby girl, we're going to find you one way or the other. One way or the other, baby girl, we're looking.”
An investigation into Kiara’s death is underway and anyone with information about the case is asked to contact the Sampson County Sheriff's Office at (910) 592-4141.