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Man Held In North Carolina In South Suburban Woman’s Murder

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Danielle Dennis Towne (Photo Courtesy: Kimmy Joyce)

Danielle Dennis Towne (Photo Courtesy: Kimmy Joyce)

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Updated 7/18/2011 at 9:45 p.m.

CLIFTON FORGE, Va. (CBS) — Authorities in Virginia begin legal proceedings Monday to extradite a teenaged suspect to North Carolina in the murder of a young woman from Chicago’s south suburbs.

As WBBM Newsradio 780’s Regine Schlesinger reports, the victim was found in the trunk of the suspect’s car. The body is believed to be that of Danielle Dennis-Towne, 18, of Steger.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Regine Schlesinger reports

After finding a crime scene, police in the small North Carolina town of Kitty Hawk put out a nationwide alert for Enrico Mascaro, 19, who reportedly is from Chicago originally.

Kitty Hawk Police Chief David R. Ward told the Associated Press early Monday that Mascaro has been charged with homicide in that coastal town.

Police Chief Barry Balser of Clifton Forge, Va., tells Newsradio 780 his detectives began tracking the suspect’s car through cell phone signals.

“We received a teletype that he was possibly in the Virginia area, and later on we received a phone call from the Virginia State Police, stating that they understood he was possibly in the Clifton Forge area,” Balser said.

On Friday night, police found the car empty. They waited for Mascaro to return and arrested him when he did.

The body was found in the trunk. An autopsy is being conducted to determine how the victim died.

Family members say Danielle and the suspect were friends and that she had been visiting him. The young woman had planned to attend Ripon College in Wisconsin.

“She had her whole life planned out, what she was going to do,” Danielle’s grandmother, Sandra Joyce, told CBS 2’s Kristyn Hartman. “She was following that path.”

Although the body had not been identified by Monday afternoon, family members said it’s Danielle. They were beginning funeral preparations.

“She would have called by now,” Kimmy Joyce, an aunt, said. “In our hearts that’s how we know.  She had a cell phone.  She would have called.”

Mascaro was being held in the Alleghany County, Va., regional jail on a fugitive-from-justice charge, a jail official said early Monday. The man, now of Nags Head, N.C., was expected to be arraigned Monday and extradited back to Kitty Hawk.

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS Radio and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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