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Search For Bennett's Killer Yields Few Clues

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RALEIGH, N.C. — Six months have passed since Stephanie Bennett was murdered in her North Raleigh apartment. The frustration mounts at the Raleigh Police Department.

Though the search for Bennett's killer goes on, police have turned up few clues in the case. They say very little evidence was left inside Bennett's apartment. A JVC stereo that was stolen from the apartment the night of the murder may be the only clue to the killer's identity.

Someone may have tried to pawn the stereo, and anyone who may have information on the stereo is asked to call Raleigh police. In the meantime, Lt. Chris Morgan and his investigators are not giving up their desire to catch the perpetrator.

"I take it as a personal quest," Morgan said.

Not a day goes by when the head of Raleigh's homicide unit doesn't think about Bennett's senseless murder.

There are 16 unsolved murders in Raleigh; the oldest dates back to 1981. Raleigh's police psychologist, Dr. Michael Teague, says what stands out about the Bennett murder was the senseless brutality.

Teague says the murder marked the city losing its small town innocence.

"it's a particulary gnawing feeling you wake up with every day," Morgan said, "and sometimes keeps you awake late into the night."

Morgan said the search for the killer is like looking for a needle in a haystack, except in this case, even the haystack is tough to find. But Morgan believes whoever killed Bennett may not be new to crime.

"There are some indicators from the crime scene that tend to indicate at least a good possibility this is not the first time this may have happened," Morgan said.

That is where police hit roadblocks. They've looked through the FBI's database of violent crimes nationwide, but many law enforcement agencies never report details of violent crimes to the Feds.

That means a similar crime may have happened somewhere else, and there's no way Raleigh investigators can learn about it. Still, they are not giving up.

Said Morgan: "The people or persons responsible for these crimes need to know we're coming for 'em one day."

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