Police arrest two in case of missing NC woman

Amanda Hayes (left) and Grant Ruffin Hayes (right) have both been arrested in connection with the disappearance of the mother of Grant's children
July 26, 2011 11:09:40 AM PDT
Search crews have the gruesome task of trying to find all the remains of a woman they say went missing from North Carolina nearly two weeks ago. With all the vegetation in Oyster Creek, with the water being so murky, looking for body parts is no small task. Dive teams spent the day in the water and search crews scoured methodically by boat.

Neighbor Joe Garza said, "I just can't believe it. It's hard to believe."

Neighbors tell Eyewitness News they saw investigators seizing several large coolers from a home down the street.

Investigators believe the remains are those of North Carolina resident Laura Ackerson. Investigators say the 27-year-old mother of two was in a bitter battle with her ex-boyfriend over custody of their children. Police have arrested that man -- Grant Hayes, a Raleigh musician -- and his current wife, Amanda Hayes.

Investigators believe Ackerson was killed in North Carolina and brought to Texas in a U-Haul truck and at least five ice chests. Those coolers were found at the home of Amanda Hayes' sister. Police also found a machete.

Fort Bend County Chief Deputy Craig Brady said, "It doesn't look like the body was severed with a machete, but something that made a very smooth cut, like a saw."

Those living nearby are just trying to understand how one human being could do that to another.

"Whoever did that, they had to be sick, man," Garza said. "Nobody in their normal mind would do that."

ABC13 sister station WTVD spoke with Ackerson's family in North Carolina. They say even before Ackerson was reported missing, she was estranged from the family because, they say, Grant Hayes kept her away.

"Very controlling and very manipulative," Ackerson's brother Jason Ackerson said. "It was hard to contact her without her getting in fear of her life her ex-boyfriend. And we should have taken the threats more seriously."

Ackerson's brother says the toughest thing he has ever done was to call his mother Monday morning to tell her Laura was dead.

Although Ackerson's mother's intuition told her last week that her daughter may never come home again, she was still crushed by the news.

"Grant Hayes and his wife are monsters," Jason Ackerson said. "And I hope that anybody that knows them or has followed them and enjoyed his music understands that about them."

Grant Hayes is a local musician in Raleigh, who is known by the stage name, Grant Haze. According to social networking sites, he and his wife recently had a child together.

Raleigh police are here but they are not talking publicly. In addition to whatever charges they pursue against the suspects in relation to the murder, the sheriff's office here says they may push for them to be prosecuted on tampering with evidence charges.


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