CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A Charlotte man accused of killing a Gastonia woman and dumping her body in South Carolina appeared in court Wednesday.
Charles William Combs was charged with murder in connection with the killing of LaPorscha Baldwin, who was reported missing when she didn't show up to work at Amazon earlier this month. Days later, her body was found in South Carolina, just north of Columbia.
When Combs walked into the courtroom Wednesday, a woman claiming to be the cousin of another woman he was convicted of killing was there to support Baldwin's family. She said seeing him brought the pain of her cousin's death back.
"It opened it all back up again," Almetra Jones-Schofield said. "Her mom is really taking it hard. She was really praying for LaPorscha to return. It just started all over again and we really feel something for Ms. Baldwin. This should've never happened."
Detectives said Baldwin's cellphone pinged at a tower near Combs' apartment around the same time she last spoke to her family. Her phone pinged several towers in the upstate area of South Carolina, hitting towers in Boiling Springs, Greenville and Taylors, as well as along I-85 in Cherokee County.
Baldwin's car was found abandoned on the southbound side of Interstate 85 near Sam Wilson Road and Belmont on Oct. 11. Police said the tires were slashed and there was possible blood on the steering wheel, dashboard and cup holder. Investigators also found women's clothing and duct tape in the vehicle.
Baldwin's body was found in Fairfield County, South Carolina, on Oct. 14. Combs was arrested by South Carolina state investigators in Myrtle Beach on Saturday, Oct. 16 and charged with murder. He was extradited back to Mecklenburg County this week.
Information obtained by WCNC Charlotte revealed that Combs was previously convicted in the murder of his former girlfriend, Marsheida Dorsey, in 2004. He spent 12 years in prison before his release in 2016. Dorsey's father said she was shot five times for trying to leave an abusive relationship with Combs. He pleaded with prosecutors to not let Combs out of prison.
"I was here to make sure this man does not get out again because he murdered my cousin 12 years ago," Jones-Schofield said. "I would tell the judge no matter what he does, do not let him out."
A GoFundMe was established to help Baldwin's family cover funeral arrangements. As of 8:30 a.m. Wednesday, the account raised more than $3,500.