IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Husband of missing North Carolina woman Kiara Wiggins charged with murder week after her body was discovered in Sampson County

The 39-year-old had been missing since June 9, 2021, until her body was found on August 2, in Sampson County.

The husband of Kiara Wiggins, a 39-year-old North Carolina woman who went missing in early June and was found dead in early August, has been charged with first-degree murder in connection with her death.

Last Monday, a body found in a wooded area off Boykin Bridge Road in Sampson County was located and on Wednesday confirmed by the Sampson County Sheriff's Office to be to Kiara Wiggins.

Kiara’s family previously told Dateline NBC’s “Missing in America” that they lost contact with her around June 9, 2021, and that she was last known to be at the Roseboro home she shared with her husband, Carl Wiggins.

On June 19, investigators learned Wiggins was driving a 2003 black Ford Excursion that had been reported stolen in Bladen County two days earlier. The next day, Kiara’s silver Oldsmobile was found abandoned in the Ammon area of Bladen County.

A break in the case came on June 23 when Wiggins, who was wanted for questioning in Kiara's disappearance, was spotted in the stolen car and proceeded to lead police on a high-speed chase through multiple counties. He eventually crashed the car and was arrested by the authorities – sparking hope that the arrest would lead to signs of his missing wife.

At the time, Sampson County Sheriff Jimmy Thornton told reporters at a press conference that he believed that Kiara was in danger. But when investigators questioned Wiggins about his wife's disappearance, he refused to cooperate.

According to a news release, after Kiara’s body was located in early August, investigators met with District Attorney Erie Lee to review the case, and decided that the evidence was enough to obtain a warrant for murder.

The State Medical Examiner’s Office has not yet listed an exact cause of death, but reported Kiara Renee Wiggins died of homicidal means, according to the release.

“My office, along with the District Attorney’s office will continue to work together to bring Kiara’s family the closure and justice deserved. I ask for continued prayers for her family moving forward and know they will find the comfort needed through community support,” Sheriff Jimmy Thornton said at a press conference on Wednesday afternoon.

District Attorney Erie Lee told reporters at the same press conference that they will be in contact with Kiara’s family and will “provide them with the victims’ rights services they are entitled to and deserved during this difficult time.”

Carl Wiggins made a first court appearance before a district court judge Wednesday and has requested a court appointed counsel. He is being held in the Sampson County Detention Center without bond.

“I would like to thank the family of Kiara for showing strength and support throughout this entire investigation,” Lt. Marcus Smith stated in the release issued on Wednesday. “More so, I would like to thank them for their extreme patience and understanding through this entire process.”