Local News

FBI Heats Up 12-Year-Old Homicide Investigation

Posted October 12, 2006
Updated August 14, 2009

— Beth Ellen Vinson, 17, was an aspiring dancer and a pageant queen with dreams of making it big.

"She was so full of life, so full of energy," said Penny Vinson, Beth Ellen's mother.

Beth Ellen's dreams were cut short in the early morning of August 16, 1994. The Goldsboro teenager, who had moved to Raleigh four weeks earlier, was found stabbed to death.

Beth Ellen had been working in Raleigh for an escort service. Her killer was never found.

"He may be married, he may have children and he may have graduated from college. Those are the things we get cheated out of like seeing our daughter graduate, getting married, holding her first baby," Penny Vinson said.

It's been 12 years of waiting for an arrest. Now, there may be new hope, thanks to a newly released FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin.

Each month, the agency features a cold case. This month, Beth Ellen's case will be circulated to law-enforcement agencies nationwide.

"The possibility exists that because of the coverage that this article is generating locally that the news will get out to the right person and that person will come forward to talk to our investigators," said Raleigh police spokesman Jim Sughrue.

Sughrue said the police department is never going to give up and never going to stop trying to solve the case.

The article in the FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin gives detail of the investigation and shows pictures and drawings of some of the items that have not been seen since Beth Ellen disappeared.

Penny Vinson hopes this will be the turning point in finding her daughter's killer.

"Nothing is going to bring her back, so I can live the rest of my life not knowing, but I would like to know," she said.

Anyone with information on the unsolved murder is urged to call the Raleigh Police Department.

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