A 44-year-old woman reported missing by Raleigh police last month may have been murdered, according to a search warrant made public last week by sheriff’s deputies in Illinois.
Police announced on Aug. 15 that they were searching for Jennifer Ann Arrington, who was last seen in the 1200 block of Schaub Drive, where she shared an apartment with Andrew Eugene Meeks, 41. She had been driving a two-door, white Nissan Altima.
Two days later, investigators in St. Clair County in Illinois notified Raleigh police detective Jerry Faulk that Arrington’s car was stopped in Shiloh, Ill. Deputies who stopped the car charged Meeks, who was driving, with possession of a stolen vehicle. Officers said Arrington was nowhere to be found, according to a search warrant Faulk obtained to search the car.
The missing woman’s family members had told Faulk that she had recently broken up with Meeks. Meeks had told Raleigh police that he had moved to Charlotte on Aug. 9, days before Arrington went missing, and that he had not seen her.
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Meeks agreed to meet with Faulk in Charlotte, but gave the detective a fake address. When Raleigh investigators tried to call him back, the cell phone they had used to call him had been turned off.
Arrington’s co-workers later told the Raleigh investigators that Meeks was at the Schaub Drive apartment on Aug. 12, the last night she was seen.
Detectives in Raleigh obtained a search warrant of Arrington’s apartment and found the place in disarray – a broken lamp, a stolen television, a missing computer and a large blood stain in the carpet of the master bedroom, Faulk reported.
After the Aug. 17 traffic stop in Illinois, Faulk traveled to the St. Clair County jail and interviewed Meeks. He told the detective that even though he had moved to Charlotte, he visited the Raleigh apartment on Aug. 13. He told Faulk that he saw blood in the apartment, but he did not see his former girlfriend. He told Faulk that he knew he would be a suspect, so he left the apartment and took her car.
He said he saw blood in the passenger seat of the car and threw a blanket over it to cover it up, according to the search warrant.
After Meeks was taken into custody in Illinois, detectives learned that he has a family member who lives in the town. They spoke with the woman, who told investigators that he asked her to wash clothes that appeared to have blood on them.
Meeks did not divulge his former girlfriend’s whereabouts to the detective, and Arrington has not been seen.
“There has been no contact with Jennifer Arrington since she was reported missing, and due to the above listed facts, Jennifer Arrington is believed to be the victim of a homicide,” Faulk stated in the search warrant.
Meeks was transported to Raleigh. He remained in custody Wednesday at the Wake County jail on charges of possession of a stolen vehicle, according to records filed with the City-County Bureau of Identification.
Dana Reick, a reporter with the Belleville News-Democrat in Belleville, Ill., contributed to this report.
Thomasi McDonald: 919-829-4533, @thomcdonald