Sheriff's Office: Union County man turns self in after killing 15-year-old daughter

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A Union County father turned himself in for the murder of his 15-year-old daughter, the Sheriff's Office says. 

The Sheriff's Office says Joshua Lee Burgess has been charged with murder after his daughter, Zaria Joshalyn Burgess, was found dead inside a home on Hampton Meadows Road Sunday morning. 

Officials say Burgess appeared at the Sheriff's Office after the murder and told a dispatcher that he wanted to turn himself in. They say he gave deputies detailed information on his daughter's death and told them exactly where her body was located. 


"You hear about stuff like this, but you never think it'd happen in your neighborhood, across the street," one neighbor said.

Another told FOX 46 Burgess waived at him as he drove from his home Sunday morning. He looked normal, but the neighbor later discovered things weren't okay.

"I can't imagine someone in their right mind wanting to hurt their child," one neighbor told FOX 46.

Others say Burgess just moved back into the neighborhood; his daughter visited on weekends.

"I actually known the guy from a long time ago because he used to live in the house maybe 15 years ago or something like that," said Michael Sullivan. 

Someone left a teddy bear on the front steps of the home as a makeshift memorial for the teen, while another wrote on Facebook, "Beautiful angel. R.I.P. So sorry this has happened to you! You did not deserve that."

"That's just so unforgivable, and my prayers are out for her and her family and you know at least they you know they got him," Sullivan said. 

Detectives, crime scene investigators and an agent with the State Bureau of Investigation conducted interviews and detailed search of the crime scene. Several pieces of evidence were taken in for analysis and the investigation is ongoing. No other information has been released at this time. 

The official cause of death will be determined by the Medical Examiner once an autopsy is complete.