On March 11, 2014, Danielle “Dannie” Locklear left her grandparents’ house in Hope Mills, outside Fayetteville, North Carolina, and did not return. For three weeks, the authorities, her community and loved ones searched for the 15-year-old high school freshman but the search unfortunately ended when her half-submerged body was found in the South River, weighed down with cinderblocks, ABC11 reported.
In the days following the discovery of her body, authorities focused their efforts on Locklear’s ex-boyfriend, Je’Michael Malloy, 17 at the time, and his best friend Dominic Lock, the outlet wrote. Malloy, who had checked in with Locklear’s family during the teen’s disappearance and liked a Facebook page about the search for her, eventually confessed to the murder and told authorities they’d had an argument.
Malloy was found guilty of second-degree murder during his trial and was sentenced to 25 to 31 years in prison for the crime. He was ineligible for the death penalty because he was 17 when the crime occurred. His friend Lock was also found guilty and sentenced to 6 to 8 years in prison.
Locklear’s Ex-Boyfriend Malloy Confessed to Strangling Her & Dumping Her Body
Locklear’s ex-boyfriend Malloy was charged with second-degree murder because authorities said they believed the crime was committed in the heat of the moment, a “crime of passion” and was not premeditated, ABC11 reported. At the time of his arrest in 2014, authorities said the 17-year-old confessed to killing Locklear during an argument and then throwing her body into the river.
The autopsy results showed that Locklear died of asphyxiation, either from being strangled or from having a sock put into her mouth. Authorities noticed the cinder blocks were unique and after obtaining a search warrant for Malloy’s house, they found matching cinder blocks and the same type of nylon rope as found tied to Locklear’s body, the Criminal Journal wrote.
Malloy told authorities during an interrogation that he killed her after breaking things off with her. He said the two met up and Locklear told him she was pregnant, which was deemed to be false by the autopsy. The two argued and Malloy said as she walked away he approached her from behind and strangled her. He then ran to where his best friend was waiting in their car and confessed to his actions, at which point the two disposed of her body.
Locklear’s family told ABC11, “It’s been a month-long nightmare and I feel like they’ve been around us. They’ve been in our home. He’s walked with us on searches. We’re disgusted. And to find out that the perpetrator, or the person who took her life allegedly is her own boyfriend, is a lot to take. It’s a lot. We can’t deal with it.”
Locklear, a High School Freshman, Was Remembered for Her Love of Life & for Being ‘Simply an Angel’
Locklear was living with her grandparents in Hope Mills and met Malloy at a youth summer camp where she mentored children. The two dated for under a year before breaking up, the Criminal Journal wrote.
About 350 people gathered for her funeral, ABC11 reported, where her pastor called her “simply an angel.” The assistant principal at Locklear’s high school said, “She wanted to touch you with her infectious smile. She wanted others to know beyond any doubt, that she had love in her heart.”
Locklear’s obituary described the South View High School freshman as a young girl who “enjoyed school and indulged in foods and nutrition class, always bringing home new recipes to try out with her Grandma.” She “lived her life full of joy” and was “always smiling and laughing,” it stated, something she carried with her to the youth camp where she volunteered.