08/13/13 — Statutory rape suspect flees, caught

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Statutory rape suspect flees, caught

By John Joyce
Published in News on August 13, 2013 1:46 PM

A 22-year-old Goldsboro man, under investigation since June for the alleged statutory rape of two girls under the age of 16, fled from Wayne County Sheriff's deputies seeking to serve warrants on him Monday morning.

He was apprehended by officers at about 3 p.m. near Fremont, an official said.

Michael Lee Smith, of 242 Mt. Airy Road, was under investigation for two counts of statutory sexual offenses and statutory rape and was initially cooperative with the investigation, according to a press release issued early today.

"We went to serve warrants on him and he'd disappeared," said Major Tom Effler of the Wayne County Sheriff's Office.

An intensive search began.

Captains Richard Lewis and Steve Mozingo, along with the investigators assigned to the case, Detective Sgts. Tammy Mozingo and Larry Mitchell, coordinated the search with patrol deputies and eventually found Smith on a dirt path near the northern end of the county, according to the press release.

He was arrested without incident.

Smith allegedly lied about his age to the two victims, whom he had known only a short time, the press release said.

He was placed in the Wayne County Jail under a $950,000 secured bond awaiting a first appearance in Wayne County District Court later today.