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Missing person report ends in homicide investigation

Last updated on May 23, 2022

UPDATE:

With the assistance of Rabun County Sheriff’s Office Derick McCracken has been taken into custody in Rabun County. Jessica Smith still remains a Wanted Fugitive for charges related to our homicide. Please continue to send in tips as to her whereabouts or about any information related to our homicide in Macon County, NC.

 

A “Missing Person” report was filed on Friday with the Macon County Sheriff’s Office by a family member who had not heard from his sister for several weeks. Detectives with the MCSO worked with the family member and the Rabun County Sheriff’s Office attempting to locate her and other individuals she was known to associate with. Throughout the day, MCSO Detectives also communicated with other law enforcement agencies attempting to locate anyone who had seen or been with the missing person. The investigation eventually lead detectives to two specific areas of Macon County.

Sheriff Robert L. Holland states, “Based on credible information, two locations were considered to be possible crime scenes and meticulous searches would be conducted by our team. The first crime scene was a location where the missing person was last seen alive and the second is where the missing person may currently be located.”

Both scenes were secured by deputies and additional assistance by the SBI was requested. By late Friday evening, MCSO detectives along with assistance from the NC State Bureau of Investigations and the District Attorney’s Office executed search warrants at the two locations. Members of the Otto Fire Department and the Chief Medical Examiner’s Office also provided substantial assistance.

During the course of our investigation, Christopher Shields of Otto, NC (Macon County) was identified by Detectives as a person of interest and was located, interviewed and released as the investigation continued. While conducting their investigation, additional interviews were conducted and it was not until later in the day that Christopher Shields would become a prime suspect in our investigation. Following our field interview with Shields, Rabun County Sheriff’s Office detained him during a traffic stop where he was the passenger in a vehicle entering into Rabun County Georgia. This traffic stop was a collaborate effort by detectives between Macon and Rabun County Sheriff’s Offices.

During the early morning hours, two of our detectives left the crime scene and went to Rabun County Georgia where they formally charged Christopher Shields with kidnapping. Shields remains in the custody of Rabun County Detention Center pending extradition back to Macon County. Additional charges will be filed at the appropriate time and will continue to keep our District Attorney informed on our investigation.

Sheriff Holland concludes, “While we would like to provide more details, our investigation remains a very active investigation. Investigators continue to gather evidence and conduct additional interviews. We are no longer treating this investigation as a Missing Person case. We have recovered human remains and we believe these remains will eventually be identified as our original missing person. This investigation is now being conducted as a homicide investigation. We are not assuming the identity of the remains that we have and will do all we can to identify them as quickly as possible. Meanwhile we will continue to conduct a thorough investigation. Positive identification and cause of death may take some time but I am confident detectives will find these answers and the answers to many more questions.”

We have communicated with the family of the missing person and will maintain that communication throughout the course of our investigation. The investigation is ongoing and additional details will be released when and if it is appropriate to do so.

Anyone with information is encouraged to contact our Criminal Investigations Unit.

Contact C.I.D Detective
Robbie Younce
(828) 349-2268

Anonymous Tips can be called into CRIME-STOPPERS HOTLINE (828)349-2600

OR

You can submit tips by downloading our MCSO App on your iPhone or Android by going to the App Store.

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