Local News

Bennett Family Talks About Lost Loved One

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RALEIGH, N.C. — For months she has been known as a murder victim, but Stephanie Bennett was also a daughter and a sister. Now, Bennett's family is speaking out about the 23-year-old.

In May, Bennett was strangled and sexually assaulted in her Raleigh apartment.Her family wants everyone, including her killer, to know who she was.

Carmon Bennett said his daughter could light up a room, and was voted "Miss Personality" in her senior class at her high school in Rocky Mount, Virginia.

"You just had to know her," he said. "She just always had a smile on her face and that smile was very special. [She was] very outgoing, just very jubilant."

Stephanie Bennett's activities reflected both an outgoing and a quiet side.

"She read a lot, she liked the water, swimming, boat riding, tubing behind the boat. She was an energetic-type person," Carmon Bennett said.

"She was my angel. I was closer to her than any other person in this world," said Jay Bennett of his sister.

He said Stephanie Bennett was most proud that she had graduated college, and had branched out on her own. She went to school just 45 minutes from her hometown, and her family admits she had a sheltered life up until coming to Raleigh.

"She loved it. She never complained about it whatsoever," Jay Bennett said. "She loved her apartment, she loved the people down here, her job was great. Her independence was essential."

Bennett's brother said it will be hard to control his anger if he ever meets the person who took all this away from his sister.

"If I was face-to-face in a room with this person, I wouldn't say anything. There would be me and him in a room and only one of us was coming out," Jay Bennett said.

It could be a while before Bennett's family can face her killer. Police said there are no suspects in the case.