Body found in suitcase on riverbank in hunt for pregnant woman last seen living in tent with her boyfriend

A BODY was found in a suitcase on a North Carolina riverbank during the search for a missing pregnant woman.

The corpse was discovered by a horrified passerby on Monday morning near the Neuse River Trail in Raleigh, according to the Wake County Sheriff's Office.

The identity of the body has not yet been disclosed, but police suspect it to be Brittany Samone Smith, who had been living in a tent with her boyfriend before she went missing.

Smith, 28, was "noticeably pregnant" and was last seen just 10 miles from where the suitcase was discovered.

Wake County Sheriff Gerald Baker told reporters: "It's safe to say this was no accident."

"We're getting ready to confirm the woman's identity," Baker told reporters at the scene on Monday.

"I can't sit here and tell you that's what's in here right now. We have not gotten to that point.

It's safe to say this was no accident.

"We have information to believe it. It's not every day, it's not every morning that you wake to find what could be a person's body in a suitcase, in a river," he added.

WRAL reported that neighbours had seen Smith and her boyfriend living in the 200 block of Fox Run Drive.

On Saturday, cops had put out an alert asking for the public's help to find Smith – four days after she had disappeared.

She was described as 4'11ft tall and around 115 pounds.

"If this is, in fact, this young lady that we've been looking for all weekend, someone is responsible for that.

"We are going to work very hard. we are going to find out who is responsible. I can tell you that.

"Because things like this don't happen. Someone is responsible," Baker said.

An autopsy is underway to determine the cause of death and to discover the identity.

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