The body of seventeen-year-old Azareyiah Majestic Mitchell has been found and two suspects are in custody, according to police.
Mitchell was first reported missing by her mother on September 28, 2020 and was officially reported missing by law enforcement on September 30.
At the time, Mitchell was believed to be in Jumping Branch with her boyfriend Steven Marvin Lawson, 27, and Jelesea Dashea Bass, 19.
Mitchell and Lawson were in a public relationship and have a seven-month-old child together.
State Police announced at a press conference on Wednesday that Mitchell’s remains were found across state lines on Tuesday, Dec. 1. The spokesperson for the State Police did not indicate where the remains were located.
Police believe that Mitchell and Bass were in an altercation at an apartment in Summers County in September, which led to the teenager’s death. Evidence shows Mitchell was killed either on the day she was reported missing by her mother or the day after.
Lawson and Bass then transported Mitchell across state lines and concealed her body.
Both suspects were arrested Wednesday morning and, according to Summers County Prosecuting Attorney Kristin Cook, bond is to be set at $250,000 for both Lawson and Bass.
The suspects are being held at Southern Regional Jail.
Bass has been charged with murder, conspiracy and concealment of a deceased human body. Lawson has been charged with accessory to murder, conspiracy and concealment.
Cpl. J. S. Syner, the lead investigator on Mitchell’s case, says that this case is now a tri-county, multiple state investigation.
“This is an ongoing investigation that started as a missing persons investigation and has turned into a homicide. At this time, we can’t disclose any information on the details.”
Cpl. Syner was able to disclose that the state medical examiner’s office is working to transport Mitchell’s body back to West Virginia.
Cook says that once the suspects are arraigned, preliminary hearings will be held within 10 to 20 days.
“My thought and prayers go out to the Mitchell family. This is a terrible situation, but we are glad that the West Virginia State Police can bring her home to her family,” Cook stated during Wednesday’s conference.
Lootpress will continue to follow this story and will update as additional details emerge.