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Police confirm homicide victim's identity: She was truck driver's girlfriend

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SMITHFIELD — Police have identified a woman whose body was found Tuesday as 28-year-old Alanda Mae Abraca of 617 S. Fourth St.

Abarca and Enrique Lopez, the man killed in a Monday afternoon gun battle and law enforcement chase, were dating and had two children, according to police. The children are now in their grandmother's custody.

Smithfield Police Chief Keith Powell said police were dispatched to the home to investigate Abraca's disappearance. She was last seen at the home at 2:30 p.m. Monday. Powell said police searched the area outside the home and found the woman's body. He would not say how she was killed or disclose a possible motive.

Lopez allegedly opened fire on N.C. Highway Patrol troopers who were pursuing him after attempting to pull over the stolen tow truck he was driving. The troopers returned fire as Lopez neared Clayton. He crashed the tow truck into a tree on the shoulder of U.S. 70 Business East near the Nick's Flippin' Kids gymnasium located east of town. 

State troopers tried to stop the tow truck around 4:23 p.m. Monday on Black Creek Road outside Smithfield. State Highway Patrol spokesman Sgt. Chris Knox said. Powell said a gun was found in the tow truck but he couldn't confirm if it was the one used in the shooting.

Powell said Lopez tried unsuccessfully to steal a car with a mother and child in it before stealing the tow truck.

Local law enforcement officers had requested assistance. Knox said investigators determined Trooper J.J. Kiser shot Lopez during the chase. Kiser, a nine-year Highway Patrol veteran, was placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of an internal investigation. The State Medical Examiner's Office is determining the cause of Lopez's death. 

The investigation is still ongoing and Powell said no other information is currently available.

Anyone with any information regarding this case is asked to contact Detective Blinson of the Smithfield Police Department at 919-934-2121.

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