In a news conference Wednesday afternoon, the Nash County Sheriff's Office said Sarah Denise Patterson's body was found in a shallow grave on West Old Spring Hope Road.
"My heart goes out to the family that anyone's life would be ended like this," said Sheriff Keith Stone. "It's very disturbing and as many years as I have been in law enforcement to see this type of carnage is heartbreaking."
Patterson's burned out car was found on Pleasant Road in Edgecombe County.
Two people have been charged in her death.
Cleavon Williams of Spring Hope, who is related to Patterson, is charged with first-degree murder.
According the sheriff's office, he had previously spent several years in jail for second-degree murder.
April Smith is charged with accessory after the fact.
A motive has not been determined.
On Tuesday, authorities called the disappearance suspicious.
Stone said a family member told investigators it was out of character for Patterson, a certified nursing assistant, to not show up for work over the weekend.
Stone did not say where Patterson, of Pinewoods Drive in Raleigh, works.
She was last seen May 16 at a relative's home in the 4200 block of Biltmore Lane in Spring Hope.
"That's what's so suspicious about it," said Stone. "There's no concrete evidence of where she was going or who she was with. That's what's puzzling at this time."