Courts & Crime

Police: Texas couple dismembers N.C. woman, packed remains in cooler, went home

RALEIGH — Police say a Raleigh musician and his wife killed a Kinston mother here, dismembered her body, packed the pieces in coolers and loaded them aboard a rented U-Haul trailer before dumping the remains in a creek 1,250 miles away outside Houston.

Grant Ruffin Hayes, 32, and Amanda Perry Hayes, 39, were arrested early Monday at a house at 1505 Holman St. in Kinston, brought to Raleigh and charged with murdering Laura Jean Ackerson, 27.

Ackerson was Grant Hayes' ex-girlfriend, and they had been embroiled in a bitter custody fight over their two young children, according to Lenoir County court records.

Relatives of Amanda Hayes in Richmond, Texas, told investigators that she and Grant Hayes had come to visit her sister after Ackerson was killed, said Craig Brady, chief deputy for the Fort Bend County Sheriff's Office. While there, relatives said, the pair carried coolers they brought from Raleigh to Oyster Creek.

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