Local News

11 Years Later, Goldsboro Woman's Death Still Unsolved

Posted March 5, 2006
Updated October 22, 2013

— Bill and Penny Vinson are living in the past. It's all they can do 11 years after their daughter was killed -- a victim of an apparent homicide.

"I try to imagine how she would be now, at 29," said Bill Vinson. "It's almost impossible."

"I just keep thinking, 'I'm going to wake up and this is all going to be over,'" said Penny Vinson. "I won't ever give up hope that she'll just someday walk back into my life."

Beth Ellen Vinson was her daddy's little girl -- headstrong and determined. She always dreamed of becoming a dancer -- so much so that she dropped out of high school and left home in the summer of 1994.

"She had just decided, she was 17 years old, she was going to New York," said Penny Vinson. "And she was going to Raleigh to work and save enough money to get to New York."

Beth Ellen never made it to New York. Three weeks after arriving in Raleigh, she was reported missing.

Her car was found one morning in front of a car dealership on Capital Boulevard. A week later, her body was found lying in a ditch off Wicker Drive. She'd been brutally stabbed.

Her killer was never caught. The crime turned the lives of Penny Vinson and her husband, upside down.

"He looked at me and said, 'Let's sell the house. I don't think I can live here anymore,'"said Penny Vinson, of her husband. "And I'm thinking,''Don't take me from this place, because this is where she is.'"

Throughout the years, the case has been passed from detective to detective, each applying new ideas to old evidence.

"Within the last several months, we did go back and look at some physical evidence," said Raleigh Police Det. J.C. Perry. "We're doing that constantly to see if there's anything new that science can tell us that, unfortunately, people are not telling us."

Police hope Beth Ellen's jewelry may lead to an arrest. Four rings and a colorful handbag were missing after the crime. It's one of the few things police and her parents have to go on.

"It won't bring her back," said Penny Vinson. "I'm not even sure if it will give me any peace. But it'll put a period at the end of the sentence. North Carolina would not do to him what he did to my daughter. So, justice isn't going to be served."

Raleigh police are offering a reward for information in this case. Anyone with information about the case is asked to call the Raleigh Police Department at (919) 890-3555.

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