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A 17-year-old girl who had been missing since Tuesday was found deceased this afternoon in a field in the Garysburg area of Northampton County.

Roanoke Rapids police Chief Bobby Martin said around 3 p.m. that officers acting on a tip searched an area along Old Highway and found Quameisha Dashay Branch. Initial investigation shows that Branch died of an apparent gunshot wound to the head.

A murder warrant has been obtained for the arrest of 27-year-old Marquette Douglas of Garysburg, who Martin described as the reputed boyfriend of Branch’s mother.

Martin declined to comment on the circumstances which led to the girl’s death but did say, “I feel like this death was needless. I feel like it could have been avoided.”

Martin said while investigators are awaiting a medical examiner’s report to establish a time of death, investigators are leaning to the possibility Branch was killed on the date the missing person report was filed.

Branch was last seen in the downtown area of Roanoke Rapids Tuesday around 8:30 p.m.

Martin said the Garysburg Police Department and Northampton County Sheriff’s Office have assisted Roanoke Rapids officers in the investigation.

Martin said Douglas, who is considered armed and dangerous, tends to frequent the downtown area of Roanoke Rapids.

Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the police department at 252-533-2810 or Crimestoppers at 252-583-4444.

Detective M. Hunsucker is the lead Investigator in this case, Martin said.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family of the deceased victim,” the police chief said.