Police: Murder Victim Died From Multiple Stab Wounds

Alanda Mae Arbaca

Police have announced a 28 year-old woman who was found dead at her Smithfield home last week died from multiple stab wounds to her torso and neck.

On July 2nd, Alanda Mae Abarca was found dead in the backyard of her home at 617 South Fourth Street by Smithfield Police officers who responded to a report from her family that she was missing. While canvassing the property they discovered her body.

Police Captain R. Sheppard confirmed today (Tuesday) that with the assistance of the NC Medical Examiner’s Office, investigators determined she died from the stab wounds.  Police are treating her death as a homicide. Alanda was last seen alive Monday afternoon, July 1st.

Police said Abarca’s boyfriend, 26 year-old Enrique Lopez of Smithfield, attempted to carjack a Four Oaks woman in the parking lot of a convenience store on S. Brightleaf Boulevard on July 1st. That crime happened about 4 blocks away from Alanda’s home.  Lopez then ran across the street and stole a Ford wrecker from Paul Auto Sales. He led police, deputies and troopers on a high speed chase from Four Oaks to Clayton. During the chase he fired shots at officers and ran other drivers off the highway.  The chase ended when Lopez was shot by a state trooper on Highway 70 near Hardee Lane.

Photo by John Payne

Lopez lost control and overturned on the shoulder of Highway 70 into a tree. He died at the scene.  An autopsy is being performed on Lopez to determine if he died from the gunshot or injuries sustained in the crash. The NC SBI is also conducting a separate investigation into the officer involved shooting.

Police have not publicly named Lopez as a suspect in the death of Alanda Abarca but Tuesday’s press release stated, “No additional suspects are believed to be involved in this investigation.”

Alanda is survived by four children, including two children with Lopez.

Alanda’s family will receive friends on Friday, July 12th from 5:00PM until 7:00PM at Rose and Graham Funeral Home in Four Oaks.   In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorials for Alanda be made to one’s favorite charity.