NC Father Allegedly Raped & Killed His 15-Year-Old Daughter, Confessed To Cops

Joshua Lee Burgess faces multiple charges in connection with his daughter's death, police said.

August 21, 2019
Mug shot of Joshua Lee Burgess [Union County Sheriff's Office]

Photo by: Mug shot of Joshua Lee Burgess [Union County Sheriff's Office]

Mug shot of Joshua Lee Burgess [Union County Sheriff's Office]

By: Catherine Townsend

A North Carolina man who allegedly walked into a police station and confessed to killing his 15-year-old daughter now faces additional charges in connection with her death, police said.

According to the Union County Sheriff's Office, in addition to a murder charge, 32-year-old Joshua Lee Burgess will now be facing charges of statutory rape of a person 15 years of age or younger, first-degree statutory sex offense, first-degree kidnapping, and first-degree sexual exploitation of a minor.

On Sunday morning, Burgess allegedly walked into the sheriff's office and told a dispatcher he killed his daughter, Zaria Joshalyn Burgess, 15, authorities said.

Joshua Burgess provided details about his daughter's death and the location of her body, according to police. Charlotte's WJZY-TV reported the teen's body was found inside their home on Sunday morning.

Tony Underwood, chief communications officer for the Union County Sheriff's Office, called this case "pure evil," and said that Burgess "readily admitted to what transpired."

In court, officials reportedly told the judge Burgess had allegedly strangled his daughter and slit her throat while she had been visiting him for the weekend.

"The details of this murder are indescribable," Sheriff Eddie Cathey said in a written statement on Tuesday. "Every officer and detective involved in this case is feeling the effects of what happened to this child. There is no logical answer to explain why this man did what he is accused of doing. Our hearts and prayers are with Zaria's mom and her family."

Burgess is being held at the Union County Jail without bond.

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