Twenty years have passed since Lacoy McQueen went missing from Shaw University, never to be heard from again.
On Monday, prosecutors and defense attorneys began selecting a jury to weigh whether Edwin Christopher Lawing, her boyfriend at the time, murdered her.
McQueen was a 20-year-old Shaw University student missing for nearly a year before her remains were found by construction workers near Kittrell, north of Raleigh.
In December 2014, after new tests on old evidence in the case, a Wake County grand jury handed up an indictment charging Lawing, 40, of 551 Old Charlotte Road in Concord, with the first-degree murder of McQueen.
Police said at the time that Lawing was in a relationship with McQueen, who was also from the Charlotte area. Detectives homed in on Lawing decades ago as a suspect. Investigators twice searched Lawing’s dorm room before McQueen’s remains were discovered.
Investigators contend that the crime happened in Lawing’s living quarters at N.C. State University.
Friends told police that McQueen and Lawing had argued the day she disappeared, May 16, 1996.
Her friends reported her missing the next day. Someone had seen her near the NCSU bell tower getting into a car with two men the day before her friends went to police.
It was not until March 3, 1997, when construction workers discovered her remains off U.S. 1 near Kittrell.
Sixteen days after McQueen’s remains were found, detectives charged Lawing with her murder. On May 2, 1997, the charge was dismissed.
In 2014, the department’s homicide detectives met with Wake County prosecutors to discuss the case and reconsider prosecuting Lawing.
The investigators awaited the results of tests using methods that were unavailable in the late 1990s, police said.
Those test results played into the grand jury’s indictment decision, prosecutors have said.