Search for S.C. girl missing after double murder ends in D.C.

Arieyana Forney in undated family photo

WBTV/Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – An 11-year-old girl who went missing from a home where her grandparents were shot and killed Sunday was found safe in Washington, D.C. Sunday night, reports CBS Charlotte affiliate WBTV.

Washington, D.C., Metro Police say they found Arieyana Forney inside a white Chevy Impala that authorities had made the subject of an AMBER Alert.

According to Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police, a female called D.C. police at about 8 p.m. saying was in the car and described her approximate location. Officials didn’t confirm whether Forney was the caller.

“The D.C. Metro Police flooded that area and were looking for this car, our White Impala, and were able to locate that car, and they were able to take the occupants of that car into custody and recover Arieyana safely,” CMPD Major Mike Smathers told a news conference.

Curtis Atkinson Jr. had led D.C. police on a brief chase that ended when the car we was in crashed, they say.

He was arrested and was being held in D.C. on local charges. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police officials expect to charge him with the murder of Curtis Atkinson Sr. and Ruby Atkinson – his parents. He is Forney’s uncle, they note.

D.C. police also say Nikkia Cooper, 26, who was in the car with Atkinson Jr. was arrested on drug charges, and they’re investigating any role she might have had in the crimes he committed.


Curtis Atkinson Jr.

WBTV/Mecklenburg County Sheriff's Office

It all began when police were called to a home in east Charlotte at 11:05 a.m. Sunday to help the Charlotte Fire Department. Police say there was an attempted arson at the crime scene. 

A man and woman were found dead inside. 

Police say Arieyana was missing from the home where she lived with the two victims. 

Authorities say they don’t know why Atkinson took Arieyana to D.C., and haven’t commented on a motive for the homicides.