Local News

7-Year-Old Finds Slain Mom in Wayne County Home

Posted March 4, 2008
Updated March 7, 2008

— A 7-year-old returned home from school Monday to find her mother dead inside their home, Wayne County sheriff's investigators said Tuesday.

But they don't have any suspects or a possible motive into Silvia Morales Benitez's death. The 28-year-old mother of two likely died from a gunshot wound inside her residence at 1273 Black Creek Road in Fremont, authorities said.

Morales' 3-year-old son was also in the house but was not hurt. Investigators think the shooting happened sometime between 1:15 p.m. and 4:15 p.m. and think the child might have been alone with his mother's body for hours.

Her husband was working at the time at a hog farm about a half-mile away. His boss, Tony Balance, said no one at the farm saw or heard anything out of the ordinary.

Investigators said they have not ruled out any suspects or motives, but at this point in the case, they do not believe robbery was a motive or that drugs were involved.

Morales Benitez's body was transported to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Chapel Hill for an autopsy.

Anyone with information that could help the investigation is asked to call the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office at 919-731-1493 or Crime Stoppers at 919-735-2255.

Balance said Morales Benitez and her husband were in the process of buying the home they rented from him.

He described her as a kind woman, and said the family was actively involved in their church.


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  • B4JESUS Mar 5, 2008

    Yes it is very sad that the value of ones life means nothing to some evil person. Praying for the family in the days to come. Also praying that the person that did this is caught very soon.

  • At Work Mar 5, 2008

    I'm praying for both children and also praying that the father did not have anything to do with it considering that they do not think that drugs or robbery was a motive.

  • PikeMom4real Mar 5, 2008

    I hope this child is young enough that his/her mental and visual memories will dissipate with time.I know that I don't remember things that young,but people talking about things can also give one "false memories" and make them think they remember,so maybe this will not be talked about around this child after the hardest part is over.

  • circlecity Mar 5, 2008

    There is a God and justice will prevail

  • mom2threecld Mar 4, 2008

    this is sooo sad. the 3 year old was home alone with his/her dead mothers body...oh my god, then the 7 year old finds her. this is horrible in any fashion, but for those kids...how horrible. thoughts and prayers to the family and thank god the 3 year was unharmed.

  • LittleSister Mar 4, 2008

    This is so sad. I do not understand people in this world. Why in the world can't we just all get a long.
    My heart goes out to this family and they will be in my prayers.

  • I agree Mar 4, 2008

    My prayers go out for the family

  • GWALLY Mar 4, 2008

    ...."ptahandatum"....well I'm praying for YOU whether you want it or not, cause you sure NEED it, as does this family and most of us every day !!!!!

  • damfrisky33 Mar 4, 2008

    We can't imagine the heart break for the children, especially the 7 year old who saw her mother dead. This nightmare will follow her all her life. How sad. My prayer goes to the family and especially to the children who will grow up without mother. GOD help to heal the children of their nighmares.

  • haggis basher Mar 4, 2008

    ""Is it just me, or does anyone else believe this country is headed down the drain at a fast pace?"

    Its an illusion. Folks have always said that. news travels further, faster than ever. Read some history...bad things have always happened. Lizzie Borden took an axe and gave her father 40 wacks......