Local News

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

Authorities still don't have a motive or suspect in the death of 28-year-old Silvia Bonitez Morales.

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FREMONT, N.C. — 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.