Friends described Jennifer Ann Arrington as “quiet and private.”
Now, hearing that Arrington’s former boyfriend has been charged with killing her, they wonder whether her restrained nature may have been connected to a distressed life with the man she was living with.
“I’m guessing that (her private nature) is because she was in that jacked-up situation,” said Robin Hudson of Knightdale, who worked with Arrington.
The former boyfriend, Andrew Eugene Meeks, 42, has been charged with murder and remains in custody, awaiting trial.
Arrington, 44, had been missing since Aug. 12. Raleigh police this week identified a body that was discovered on Jan. 6 as Arrington.
A man playing paintball called 911 to report remains in a wooded area in the 5100 block of Windmere Chase Drive.
“We’re in the woods over here at Raleigh and it seems like there’s a dead body that’s been here for a while,” the 911 caller, whose name was not made public, told a dispatcher. “I can see the skull.”
Windmere Chase Drive is about 12 miles from the apartment Arrington shared with Meeks.
Police did not disclose how Arrington died. But investigators think she might have been killed the night of Aug. 12. Police searched her apartment in the 1200 block of Schaub Drive in Raleigh three days later and discovered a broken lamp and a large blood stain in the carpet of the master bedroom. A television and computer were missing, and vertical window blinds appeared to have blood on them and were stuffed in a closet, Raleigh police detective Z.A. Morse stated in a search warrant.
Arrington did not contact her family the next day, which was her birthday, and she did not show up for work Aug. 14. Her employer contacted police to report her missing, according to search warrants.
Hudson said when the two first started working together at Amazon, they talked about what they would purchase from the company by using their discounts.
“She was going to buy iPads for her grandkids,” Hudson said.
Soon after Arrington was reported missing, Meeks told a Raleigh police detective that he had moved to Charlotte on Aug. 9. But police say he gave a fake address. A cellphone on which police had reached him was later turned off, according to search warrants.
Investigators spoke to a woman who said Meeks came to her home on Aug. 12 and asked her to provide him with an alibi between the hours of 9 and 11 p.m. that night, according to a search warrant. The woman told police that she and Meeks texted several times that evening and that he asked for a ride to her apartment. The woman said she deleted several of the text messages, according to the search warrant.
Investigators obtained search warrants to seize a pair of boots, a lamp shade, earrings, vertical blinds, a bed sheet and a bag containing clothes from Arrington’s apartment. They also obtained a warrant to search digital data from the phone of the woman Meeks spoke with and texted with. A third search warrant allowed police to seize data from a Samsung device Meeks had, and a fourth allowed them to comb through Meeks’ email records, court records show.
Meeks was arrested in Shiloh, Ill., where police stopped him while he was driving Arrington’s Nissan Altima. He was charged with possession of a stolen vehicle on Aug. 29, when he was transported back to Wake County.
He was later charged with first-degree murder, according to records filed with the City-County Bureau of Identification, even though investigators did not locate and identify Arrington’s body until last month.