NC mountain inn employee charged with killing co-worker

CANTON, NC (AP) - An employee at a scenic North Carolina inn has been charged with killing a co-worker whose body was found this week along a path near the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Federal court documents filed Thursday say Derek Shawn Pendergraft faces a charge of second-degree murder in the death of a female cook at the Pisgah Inn. The 20-year-old faces a maximum of life in prison if convicted.

Sara Ellis, 29, was reported missing Tuesday night, according to an FBI news release. Authorities say she was found several hours later near a path to employee housing.

Pendergraft was in federal custody, and he was scheduled to appear in court Thursday.

The federal public defender's office said it didn't have information on whether Pendergraft has an attorney.

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