Trio arrested after dumping woman’s body in woods following overdose death, deputies say

ROWAN COUNTY, N.C. — Deputies have arrested three people accused of dumping a woman’s body in the woods after she died from an overdose inside their Rowan County home.

According to the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office, 45-year-old Tammy Lynn Becerra’s body was found just after 10 a.m. on March 23 near Shuping Mill Road and Alana Drive.

A person driving by noticed what appeared to be a body in the woods and called 911.

Deputies said the woman’s body was off the roadway in the woods and partially covered with some plant material.

Becerra was reported missing by her son on March 21. He told Kannapolis Police the last time he spoke to his mother was on March 17.

During the course of the investigation, detectives learned that the last time Becerra had been seen was on March 19 at the home of Michael Joe Banks and Brooke Lynn Griffin on Canyon Lane in Kannapolis. Witnesses reported that Becerra was at the home doing drugs that night and the following morning.

Deputies said Banks confirmed that she died from an overdose inside his home. Banks said that he and Griffin then loaded Becerra’s body into his vehicle and dumped her body in a wooded area off Alana Drive.

According to deputies, Banks said they didn’t report Becerra’s death to authorities because they were afraid her family would retaliate.

Banks and Griffin have been charged with felony concealment of death and failure to report death. Further charges for others involved in the case are under review by the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office and the Rowan County District Attorney’s Office.

Deputies said the pair was arrested on Craig Street in Salisbury.

Both suspects were placed in jail under $100,000 secured bonds.

On August 11, deputies arrested a third person in the crime, Crystal Ann Knight. Investigators said Knight, 35, helped in moving and concealing Becerra’s body after she died.

Knight was arrested after being transported to the Rowan County Detention Center from the NC Women’s Prison in Raleigh where she was serving time for other criminal convictions. She was charged with felony concealment of a death and given a $2,500 secured bond and was placed in the Rowan County Detention Center.