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The juvenile accused of shooting two teens dead on a woodland trail in rural North Carolina earlier this year has been identified.

The name of the underage suspect, court filings have revealed, is Issiah Ross, a 17-year-old aspiring Soundcloud artist who faces two counts of murder for the killings of 14-year-old Lyric Woods and 18-year-old Devin Clark.

Woods and Clark, who were close friends, were found gunned down in a brush area near Buckhorn Road in Orange County on September 18. 

Court documents revealed that Woods had a gunshot wound to the left side of her neck, while Clark had gunshot wounds to the head and thigh areas.

Missing from the September 26 criminal complaint, however, was the suspect’s name – with police only providing his age in the official document.

Officials had been tight-lipped about the suspect’s identity following his arrest on that date, citing his age and laws regarding minors’ right to privacy. 

The Orange County Sheriff’s Office even announced that the suspect, who they believed was responsible for the dual killing, would likely not be tried as an adult.

That assertion was proven wrong on Monday, when officials finally shed more light on the case, after announcing the then unnamed suspect’s arrest on October 5. No motive was provided for the murders. 

Issiah Ross, a 17-year-old aspiring Soundcloud artist, faces two counts of murder for the killings of 14-year-old Lyric Woods and 18-year-old Devin Clark

Issiah Ross, a 17-year-old aspiring Soundcloud artist, faces two counts of murder for the killings of 14-year-old Lyric Woods and 18-year-old Devin Clark 

Lyric Woods, 14, was last seen on Friday, and her body was identified on Sunday

Devin Clark, 18, also vanished on Friday night

Lyric Woods, 14, (left) and 18-year-old Devin Clark were last seen on September 18. Their bodies were confirmed to have been found two days later, striking the search for a then-unidentified Ross 

During the 2:30pm press conference, Orange County Sheriff Charles Blackwood revealed a more detailed timetable for the murders, after discovering the bodies of the two teenagers on September 18, a Sunday.

‘Because several people living near where Devin and Lyric were discovered heard gunshots early Saturday morning,’ Blackwood said, ‘we believe that’s when the murders occurred.’

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The sheriff went on to reveal that his office’s investigation quickly determined that Ross was a suspect – based on a combination of forensic and other unspecified evidence found at the scene of the slayings. 

Ross, knowing the law was hot on his tail, proceeded to flee to Delaware after the crimes, where two reported accomplices now face charges of harboring a fugitive. Police said Ross had lived in Delaware previously. 

Blackwood did not identify the two people charged for allegedly sheltering Ross, who briefly attended the same school as Clark, Eastern Alamance High School in Mebane – where he resided at the time of the crime and arrest.

Ross’ name previously was not allowed to be released, officials also revealed during the presser – due to the fact the case had been in juvenile court.

However, on Monday, the county’s district attorney revealed the teen will be tried as an adult, after his attorneys reportedly failed to file an appeal to stop that process. 

Ross, knowing the law was hot on his tail, proceeded to flee to Delaware after the crimes, where two reported accomplices now face charges of harboring a fugitive. Police said Ross had lived in Delaware previously. Officials had been tight-lipped about the suspect's identity following his arrest on that date, citing his age and laws regarding minors' right to privacy

Ross, knowing the law was hot on his tail, proceeded to flee to Delaware after the crimes, where two reported accomplices now face charges of harboring a fugitive. Police said Ross had lived in Delaware previously. Officials had been tight-lipped about the suspect’s identity following his arrest on that date, citing his age and laws regarding minors’ right to privacy

Alicia Stemper, director of public information for the sheriff, said there was no clear motive for the killings. ‘We have some theories and we have some evidence, but we can’t speculate as to motive at this time,’ she added during the conference.

While Ross will be tried as an adult, officials at the presser revealed that the most serious punishment option the teen could face is life in prison without possibility of parole.

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The is due to the fact that anyone under 18 is not eligible to receive the death penalty, officials said.

Authorities believe that Ross fled North Carolina on Sunday – the day the bodies were found – and that same day uploaded  five new songs on what appears to be his Soundcloud, under the name Mi$tr3.

One song, entitled ‘Glass,’ mentioned lining up ‘headshots,’ and another mentions that he has ‘s**t I can’t talk about/I cannot discuss.’ 

In ‘Th3 D3vil Is R3al,’ also released on Sunday. he raps about waking up feeling like a demon. 

Authorities believe that Ross fled North Carolina on Sunday - the day the bodies were found - and that same day uploaded five suggestive songs on what appears to be his Soundcloud

Authorities believe that Ross fled North Carolina on Sunday – the day the bodies were found – and that same day uploaded five suggestive songs on what appears to be his Soundcloud

The profiled is plagued with comments from users accusing the teen of rapping about and glorifying the deaths. With that said, Ross has tracks going back years with similar themes. Police have yet to comment on the contents of the profile.

The sheriff’s office, meanwhile, says that is has since finished its investigation, and has handed over the case to the district attorney’s office. 

 Ross’s next court date is slated for November 15. Until then, he will be held by prosecutors without bond. District Attorney Jeffrey Nieman said Ross is currently at a juvenile facility and even when transferred to adult court, he will remain in a juvenile facility.

Authorities refused to provide additional information as to not risk the still ongoing case.

Once he was identified as a suspect, a juvenile petition was announced by authorities on Sept. 20 when it was filed against Ross for two counts of first-degree murder.

The big question of why Ross would kill the two fellow teenagers was asked at the press conference.

‘We don’t always know the motive,’ said Stemper.

Locals had reacted with anger to Blackwood’s announcement that the 17-year-old would be charged with a juvenile. Blackwood did not clarify that the suspect would be tried in adult court if subsequent charges were filed.

‘This person murdered 2 people!! Said person should be tried as an adult!’ wrote one on Facebook.

‘The law needs to be changed, this 17 year old knew exactly what he/she was doing. Old enough to point the gun and take two lives, old enough to pay the consequences. No excuses,’ said another.

Another commented: ‘Great work OCSD, now the court system needs to do their job that person should never see the outside of a prison again be under trial as an adult and possibly the death penalty….those kids deserve it!!’

Several asked that the should face the death penalty if found guily. 

North Carolina supports the death penalty – however, the last execution took place more than 15 years ago. Similarly, no one has been sentenced to death in the state since 2019. 

‘The 17 year old knew right from wrong and had no business with a gun, so his parents need to be held accountable as well,’ one local said of the charges. 

‘He needs to be charged as an adult and put in prison for life! The death penalty isn’t good enough for what he did.’

Another added: ‘Tried as a juvenile? Death penalty or life isnt enough for the pain both sets of parents will do life from here on out with because of this crime taken out on their kids. 

‘Death here should be as close as it can be to the pain these kids went through.’

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