Local News

Deputies find Benson woman dead

Posted October 8, 2008 9:29 a.m. EDT
Updated October 8, 2008 5:01 p.m. EDT

— Johnston County authorities are trying to figure out who killed a "church- and family-oriented" woman in Benson.

Deputies found Annie Bynum, 68, dead in her house in the 5800 block of Meadowbrook Road Wednesday morning after she failed to show up for work.

Authorities have not said how she died.

Bynum's employer, Day by Day Treatment Center in Selma, called her sister when Bynum did not come to work.

"Miss Annie," as she was known at the 24-hour substance abuse facility, worked as a third-shift technician. She helped residents go to bed at night and then helped them get up in the morning.

Bynum also responded to any problems overnight, according to Ellen Blackman, Day by Day's executive director. Bynum had worked at the center full-time for the past four years.

Grief counselors were on-hand Wednesday to talk with the staff, Blackman said.

Bynum was scheduled to work the overnight shift, 11 p.m. to 7 a.m., and it was unlike her to not show up, family members said.

On Wednesday morning, her sister called the Johnston County Sheriff's Office.

Investigators came to Bynum's house and found the side door open. Detectives determined that someone had forced his or her way into the house. Deputies then went inside and found her body.

Authorities did not allow family member inside the house because it was a scene "they would not want to see," officials said.

Bynum lived in the house for more than a decade, family members said. She lived alone until recently, when her adult son, Tony, moved in with her. Tony told deputies he was out all night and was not at the house, officials said.

Bynum’s niece, Carolyn Harding, described her aunt as a "church- and family-oriented" woman. She said she can't understand why anyone would want to hurt her aunt.

“Everybody’s just taken by surprise and very upset about this whole thing,” Harding said

Bynum is survived by two sons, five grandchildren, five sisters and two brothers, Harding said. Many of the family members stood outside the house Wednesday while detectives investigated.