Previously in “Final Moments,” we witnessed the case of Kelsey Smith and how she was kidnapped and murdered. In this episode of “Final Moments,” we will be looking into the case of a very young girl called Danielle Locklear. She was only 15 years old at the time of her disappearance. What is her story? Let’s find out.
Danielle Locklear spent every summer at Hope Mills, North Carolina, with her grandparents and extended family. In the summer of 2013, Danielle Locklear decided to leave her home in South Carolina and stay with her grandparents. At that time, her mother was going through a painful divorce with Danielle’s stepfather, so she let Danielle stay with her grandparents. In the summer of 2013, another thing happened that made Danielle Locklear want to stay in Hope Mills. Danielle Locklear met a boy named Je’Michael Malloy. Danielle’s family in Hope Mills has known Je’Michael Malloy since he was a kid. Danielle Locklear and Je’Michael Malloy met at a church and started dating. So, Je’Michael Malloy soon became a reason for Danielle Locklear to stay in Hope Mills. Danielle soon joined South View High School as a freshman and instantly made a lot of friends. One of her friends, Caroline Nuzzo, said Danielle always stood out and could easily make friends. She was also very beautiful and caught everyone’s attention. However, she was head over heels for Je’Michael Malloy, who was 17 years old and studied at a high school in Fayetteville.
Danielle Locklear led a simple life, living with her grandparents, and she was like any other teenager. Her grandmother and aunt had to go out of town for a doctor’s visit on March 11, 2014.
Around 9:45 PM that evening, Danielle told her grandfather that she was going to go to Alexis’ house to give her a book and would be back in no time. Her grandfather asked her to come back home immediately; however, she did not return home. Danielle’s grandfather drove around Hope Mills at night looking around for Danielle, but in vain. He went to bed, hoping she would return home in the morning. However, when she did not return home, he called Danielle’s grandmother and informed her about Danielle’s disappearance. She quickly asked him to call the police and file a missing person report. When Danielle’s aunt and grandmother came back home, the police were already at their place. The family was questioned, and Danielle’s aunt revealed something. She told the police that she had seen Danielle coming home late at night and asked her where she had been. Danielle told her aunt that she was at a creek with some of her friends. The police then started searching the creek area, which was mentioned by Danielle’s aunt but did not find her. However, they discovered a sock that belonged to Danielle.
Police then went to Alexis’ house and questioned her. She told the police that Danielle did not come to her house that evening, and she also said she had no idea Danielle was going to come to her house. But Danielle and Alexis had hung out at the creek the same day, and Alexis provided some photos to the police from that day. Now, the people present with Danielle that day were questioned, and Caroline revealed that Danielle was upset because Je’Michael Malloy had broken up with her. The police questioned Je’Michael Malloy, who told them that he had a hard time breaking up with Danielle and that he had to block her. He claimed that he had not seen or talked to her in days. The police then checked his phone and found out that Danielle was worried that she was pregnant with his child. However, he told the police that he was at home during the time of her disappearance and was talking to other girls over texts. Soon, the FBI got involved in the case, and the news gained national attention. The police did everything they could to find out where Danielle was; however, they had no leads. The police even retraced her steps using digital data from her phone records and checked the area where her phone last pinged; however, they found nothing.
Nearly three weeks after her disappearance, an off-duty officer spotted a body in a river about 20 miles outside of Hope Mills. When the body was taken out of the river, the police noticed that it was tied with a yellow rope and that cinder blocks had been tied to her waist and feet. The autopsy revealed that she died from strangulation. The location from which the body was recovered was only a mile away from Je’Michael Malloy’s home. The police searched his house and found matching yellow rope and cinder blocks. However, Je’Michael Malloy kept saying he had nothing to do with her death. Four days after denying that he had anything to do with her death, Je’Michael Malloy confessed. He told the police that he and Danielle had gotten into an argument, and in the heat of the moment, he killed her. One of his friends, Dominic Lock, helped him get rid of the body. In 2016, Je’Michael Malloy was sentenced to 25 to 31 years in jail, and Dominic Lock pleaded guilty to the charge of being an accessory and was sentenced to 6 to 8 years in prison.