New information released in killing of NC teen at father’s home

Updated: Aug. 19, 2019 at 7:49 PM EDT
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UNION COUNTY, N.C. (WBTV) - Details regarding how a 15-year-old North Carolina girl was likely killed at her father’s home are “indescribable,” deputies say.

Officials say 32-year-old Joshua Lee Burgess is charged with murder in the death of his 15-year-old daughter. The teen’s death was the result of a sharp force injury to the neck, according to the Medical Examiner.

“The details of this murder are indescribable. Every officer and detective involved in this case is feeling the effects of what happened to this child. There is no logical answer to explain why this man did what he is accused of doing. Our hearts and prayers are with [the victim’s] mom and her family,” sheriff Eddie Cathey said.

Burgess is also facing charges of statutory rape of a person 15 years of age or younger, first-degree statutory sex offense, first-degree kidnapping and first-degree sexual exploitation of a minor.

Deputies say Burgess walked into the Union County Sheriff’s Office and admitted to killing his daughter at his home. After turning himself in, Burgess “provided detailed information concerning his daughter’s death and where her body was located,” investigators say.

Deputies went to Burgess’ home, on Hampton Meadows Road near Wesley Chapel, and found his daughter’s body.

“Deputies responded to the residence out there on Hampton Meadows, and made the shocking discovery inside the home,” Tony Underwood, from Union County Sheriff’s Office, said.

Officials say the girl normally stays with her biological mother, but was spending the weekend visiting her father.

“It’s a mystery as to why this happened, and the shocking nature of it being his own biological daughter,” Underwood said.

Several neighbors said they didn’t even realize anybody lived in the house, and they believed that property was abandoned.

When it comes to the nature of the crime Burgess allegedly committed, the sheriff’s office says evil is the best way to describe it.

“It’s just evil. I mean murder is murder, but to kill your own flesh and blood like this there’s just no way to explain it other than it’s just an evil crime,” Underwood said.

No further details have been released and this remains an active investigation.

Anyone with information about the case should immediately call the Union County Sheriff’s Office at 704-283-3789 or Union County Crime Stoppers at 704-283-5600.

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