Steve Allen Avery

Steve Allen Avery

A missing Lincoln County woman’s body has been found and a man has been charged with murder.

Lincoln County Sheriff's detectives have recovered the body of Mary Walters Cook, 59, of Hamlet Street in Lincolnton. The sheriff’s office says she was killed and her body tossed off a bridge on Boy Scout Road.

On Thursday night, detectives executed a search warrant at the residence of Steve Allen Avery, 60, of Drive Inn Road in Lincolnton. Blood stains were found in the house and Avery confessed to killing Cook with a .22 caliber rifle and transporting her body to the area where she was found, according to a news release.

He then reportedly drove the truck back to Johnny's Mexican Restaurant on Highway 150 and parked it behind the business.

Avery has been charged with first-degree murder and is being held in the Harven A. Crouse Detention Center without bond.

Cook was reported missing by her family on Sept. 25. They had not seen her since Sept. 23. Her vehicle was located on Sept. 25 and security video captured images of someone walking away from the truck.

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