Local News

Police Hope New Details Provide Break In Stephanie Bennett Murder Case

Posted July 29, 2003 3:41 a.m. EDT
Updated December 10, 2006 8:08 a.m. EST

— Raleigh authorities have released information about a possible suspect in the Stephanie Bennett murder case.

Lt. Chris Morgan, of the Raleigh Police Department, said the suspect is a white male in his late 20s to mid 30s. Morgan said the suspect may also have some kind of military experience.

On May 20, 2002, authorities say Bennett, 23, was sexually assaulted and murdered in her north Raleigh apartment. Last June, investigators developed behavioral characteristics of the suspect.

Detectives said Bennett's attacker may have exhibited an interest in sexual activity involving bondage, use of restraints or role playing. They emphasize that does not mean Bennett had ever been involved in those activities or that the activities are evidence in her murder.

"Once again, we can't be certain of any of this, but it is based on the widest range of expertise that we can gather to paint a connect-the-dots portrait of our suspect," Morgan said. "Also, we keep trying to draw attention to this case because somewhere, out there, there is somebody who knows something."

Carmon Bennett, Stephanie's father, told WRAL in April that he was confident that the killer would be caught.

"As time goes on, something's going to give. You have to have faith and patience," he said.

The case has also tested the patience of Bennett's neighbors, who fear the killer could still be in the in the Lake Lynn area. Barbara Martin lives near Bennett's apartment.

"You just want to watch every move you make. You look at people in a different aspect, so yeah, it makes you nervous," she said.

Police are saying that since the crime occurred the night of May 20, 2002, they believe the suspect was likely absent from his normal location on that night or in the early morning hours of May 21, 2002.

Police are still getting tips, and they hope someone will be able to come forward soon and give them the information they need to make an arrest. Anyone with information on the case is asked to call Raleigh police at (919) 890-3555.