Missing 18-year-old killed after meeting online date, couple arrested for teen’s murder

Authorities have made two arrests in connection with the murder of 18-year-old Jacob Williamson, a South Carolina native who went missing last week after meeting someone online. The Union County Sheriff’s Office in North Carolina received a tip that led them to a residence in Monroe, where they discovered a body believed to be Williamson’s. Joshua Newton and his live-in girlfriend, Victoria Smith, have been taken into custody in connection with the crime.

Jacob Williamson was reported missing by his family on Sunday morning, prompting a search by the Union County Sheriff’s Office. Authorities had received information that Williamson was at a residence in Monroe, North Carolina. The teen had not been seen or heard from since Friday evening. The investigation revealed that Williamson had been communicating with a man online for a month and had planned to meet him for a date, which would be their first in-person encounter.

The sheriff’s office discovered a body believed to be Jacob Williamson’s on the side of a road a few miles away from Joshua Newton’s residence in Monroe. Newton, 25, allegedly drove Williamson from Laurens, South Carolina, where the victim worked, to his home in Monroe, a journey of over two hours. Authorities suspect that Newton killed Williamson at his residence, with the assistance of his girlfriend, Victoria Smith.

Joshua Newton has been charged with first-degree murder and obstruction of justice, while Victoria Smith faces charges of both obstruction of justice and accessory after the fact. Union County Sheriff Eddie Cathey expressed his condolences to the victim’s family and commended the efforts of his office in bringing those responsible for the crime to justice. The investigation into the homicide is still ongoing.

As the investigation continues, authorities are working to gather more evidence and determine the exact circumstances surrounding Jacob Williamson’s murder. Law enforcement agencies continue to emphasize the importance of personal safety and vigilance when meeting individuals from the internet.