Man charged with murder, rape in cousin's death

Man charged with murder, rape in cousin's death

Man charged with murder, rape in cousin's death

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by NewsChannel 36 Staff

WCNC.com

Posted on May 25, 2010 at 4:02 PM

Updated Tuesday, May 25 at 5:55 PM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- A 24-year-old man has been arrested and charged with the murder and rape of his cousin.

Derek Ward was arrested Tuesday.

He's accused of killing his 23-year-old cousin, Brittani Ward, on May 5. Officers haven't said how she died.

Police say the two lived together in an apartment on Providence Court Lane off Pineville-Matthews Road.

Police say family members from out of state provided information that led to Derek Ward's arrest.

Ward is charged with first-degree rape and murder. He is scheduled to make his first court appearance Wednesday afternoon.

Ward has no criminal history in North Carolina, according to a search of court records. He's not listed as a sex offender in the state.

The killing brings the number of homicides police have investigated to 29 so far this year. At this point last year, there were 15.

(The Charlotte Observer contributed to this report.)

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