Police Arrest Person of Interest in Murder of 19-Year-Old Nicholas Hawkins
An Alabama teenager who was bisexual was found shot to death in a rural area Tuesday night, three days after making a frantic phone call to his mother in which he said someone was trying to kill him.
The body of 19-year-old Nicholas Hawkins was found wrapped in a bloody blanket at an illegal dumpsite near Dora, 25 miles northwest of Birmingham.
Hawkins was returning from a beauty pageant when he phoned his mother at about 8 p.m. Saturday and said Joshua Adam Reese was trying to kill him, but gave no further details before the call cut off, AL.com reports.
Hours before Hawkins' body was found, authorities arrested the 21-year-old Reese on an outstanding unrelated warrant and identified him as a person of interest in Hawkins' murder.
Investigators on the scene where the body of Dora missing teen Nick Hawkins was discovered. pic.twitter.com/EiJVXeCCOs— Jamey Bryan (@JameyWVTM13) February 17, 2016
Reese had been free on $50,000 bail after being charged with attempted murder in 2013, when he was accused of hitting a man over the head with a gun and trying to shoot him, according to AL.com. Reese has not yet been charged in connection with Hawkins' death, and it's unclear whether the teen's sexual orientation was a motive for the murder.
Hawkins came out as bisexual in high school, according to BuzzFeed News, but later dropped out due to bullying, AL.com reported. He was weeks from earning his GED and planned to pursue a career in cosmetology.
"I know anybody who met him knows the person that he was, the bubbly personality he had," Hawkins' brother, Jacob, said at a candlelight vigil Wednesday night, according to AL.com.
"Walk in and he just, I don't want to say life of the party but, you know, he stole the show. He definitely stole the show," Jacob Hawkins said. "Who would want to kill this kid? I mean, he was 19. So young, so fragile and innocent and sweet. ... I hope we get swift, severe justice. From what I was told it was a horrible, horrible death."
Candle light vigil for Dora teen Nick Hawkins pic.twitter.com/JrRXDtQZ9k— Jamey Bryan (@JameyWVTM13) February 18, 2016
Nicholas Hawkins and Reese reportedly knew each other and had spent time together. But Jacob Hawkins said he'd only met Reese once and it "didn't go good."
"I was ready to leave and I told my brother we needed to leave," Jacob Hawkins told ABC Channel 33.
Ginger Doss, who'd worked with Hawkins at a McDonald's in Dora, told AL.com that Reese was "not a good person."
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