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Missing Laurens woman is found dead in NC; 2 arrested - link to CNN & Post & Courier articles

On Sunday morning, the Union County, NC, Sheriff’s Office began investigating the disappearance of 18-year-old Kierstyn Williamson of Laurens, SC.


Laurens County Sheriff's Office


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Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Ms. Williamson.

Union County Sheriff's Office, Monroe, NC 

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Two Arrested During Ongoing Homicide Investigation

On Sunday morning, the Union County Sheriff’s Office began investigating the disappearance of 18-year-old Kierstyn Williamson of Laurens, SC. Ms. Williamson was initially reported as a missing person to Laurens, SC authorities by family members after last being seen or heard from during the evening hours of 06/30/2023. Information was provided to the UCSO that indicated that Ms. Williamson was believed to be at a residence in the 500 block of Bethpage Ln. in Monroe. Over the past 36 hours, countless UCSO detectives, deputies, and crime scene personnel along with the assistance of the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation conducted an extensive search and investigation into the circumstances of Ms. Williamson’s disappearance. 

With great sadness, Union County Sheriff Eddie Cathey can now confirm that the body of a female decedent believed to be Ms. Kierstyn Williamson was located late yesterday afternoon.  As a result of the extensive investigation, two suspects have been taken into custody and this matter is now being considered a homicide investigation. 25-year-old Joshua Newton has been charged with First Degree Murder and Obstruction of Justice. 22-year-old Victoria Smith has been charged with Obstruction of Justice and Accessory after the Fact. Both suspects remain in custody at this time. 

Sheriff Eddie Cathey adds “My thoughts and prayers go out to the family of the victim in this case as they begin to mourn this unimaginable loss. Over the past several days, the men and women of the Union County Sheriff’s Office have fully dedicated themselves to this case and ensuring the people responsible for this tragic loss were brought to justice”.

This homicide investigation is ongoing and UCSO detectives ask that anyone with information pertaining to this case call 911, the UCSO Main Office at (704)283-3789, or Union County Crime Stoppers at (704)283-5600. Tips can also be submitted via the UCSO’s free smartphone application which can be downloaded at the links below. 

Sheriff’s App Download Links

- Android Link:

A GoFundMe account here.

A CNN Article here.

A Post & Courier, Columbia, article here.

A Post & Courier article datelined Laurens, here.