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NEWTON, N.C. -- The man accused of killing popular Newton school guidance counselor Margaret Daniels was formally indicted Monday by a Catawba County Grand Jury.

The grand jury indicted 34-year-old Sharman Odom with murder, first-degree sex assault and kidnapping, all felonies.

It is the first time there has been an official indication that investigators believe a sexual assault was part of what happened, leading to the death of Daniels.

Odom was a neighbor of Daniels, living just a few doors away from her in the Windsor Apartment complex.

Daniels' body was found on the floor of her bedroom on Saturday, June 28.

Investigators have said they believe she was strangled sometime that Friday afternoon or night. Newton Police Chief Donald Brown says it appears Daniels left her door open, allowing Odom to gain entry. Police said there were signs of a struggle inside her home, but there were no items missing.

The indictment, released Monday, makes the first mention of a sexual assault.

Around Newton, word spread of the indictment and the new allegations of a sexual assault.

Anne Wepner said her son had Daniels as a teacher.

"This whole incident has robbed Newton of its innocence," she said. "It has made me very sad, not just for the victim and her friends and family, but for all of us."

MORE: Newton PD: Maggie Daniels strangled in struggle

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