KYNANDE BENNETT – ENDANGERED MISSING September 29, 2002 – UPDATED 03.04.2013

Kynande Bennett

Kynande Bennett Age Progressed to 11 Years Old

Kynande Bennett Age Progressed to 11 Years Old

Kynande Bennett

Kynande Bennett

Kynande Bennett

Date of Birth: August 24, 1998

Black Female

Height: 3’10”     Weight: 90 lbs

Hair: Brown     Eyes: Brown

Missing: September 29, 2002     From: Conway, SC

Distinguishing Features:  Kynande has pierced ears and a birthmark on her RIGHT arm.

 .

Kynande’s mother, Vartasha “Tasha” McCullough, claims to have last seen her daughter at a K-Mart store at 5:00PM on September 29, 2002.  They were in Whiteville, NC, visiting Kynande’s Uncle on the day the little girl vanished.  McCullough’s account of events surrounding her daughter’s disappearance has changed many times.  First she claimed Kynande disappeared in an aisle in the store, next she claimed that she walked into the store and thought Kynande was behind her, but when she turned around her daughter was gone.  It gets even more suspicious, it turns out that no one saw Kynande with her mother in K-Mart that day, and surveillance images show no sign of the little girl.  Authorities say there is no evidence that she was even in the state at the time her mother claims she went missing.  No one besides Kynande’s parents had seen her for two days prior to her reported disappearance.  The more police looked into Kynande’s disappearance, the more suspicions turned to her parents.  Kynande’s mother and father, Eddie Kevin Bennett Jr., were uncooperative in the investigation and the inconsistencies in their stories just continued to add up.  It gets worse, on the day that Kynande went missing, her grandmother told authorities that she suspected the little girl had been abused.  Of course Kynande’s parents deny any abuse occurred.  Bennett denies that he refused to help investigators but does admit he declined to take a polygraph test.  McCullough did take a polygraph, and she failed it.  After this, Bennett accused the police of investigating him and his wife because they were African Americans.  Investigators have many reasons to look into the possibility that Kynande’s parents are responsible for their daughter’s disappearance.  Police say that neither seemed interested in the case, and never called to ask for updates.  Bennett and McCullough both became suspects in Kynande’s disappearance.

Sadly, as the investigation continued, it became apparent the Kynande’s parents were not only responsible for her disappearance, but also responsible for her murder.  Authorities executed a search warrant on the family home and vehicles, and took blood and saliva samples from both parents.  They later stated that the Bennett home had been ‘sanitized’ with bleach, however they were able to find transfer stains which came from fluid spatters being wiped.  The stains were linked to Kynande through DNA.

In February of 2003, both Bennett and McCullough were arrested and charged with homicide by child abuse in connection with Kynande’s case.  Authorities say they have DNA evidence that Kynande died in Conway, and never even went on the trip to Whiteville.  That evidence combined with Kynande’s grandmother’s testimony, led to the murder charges.  In October of 2005, the charges against Bennett were dropped for lack of evidence, however additional charges of unlawful neglect of a child and inflicting great bodily harm on a child were added to McCullough’s indictment in December 2005.

Throughout her trial, McCullough maintained her innocence and even testified in her own defense, stating that she would never hurt Kynande.  Prosecutors theorized that McCullough had abused Kynande and caused her death unintentionally, then panicked and attempted to conceal the crime.  In February 2006, she was convicted of all charges and sentenced to 20 years in prison.

Kynande’s body has never been recovered.

 .

If you have any information regarding the disappearance of Kynande Bennett, please immediately contact the Conway Police Department at:

1-843-248-1790

OR

The National Center For Missing & Exploited Children at:

1-800-843-5678

Parental Child Abduction is Child Abuse 08

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~ by LTWH on March 4, 2013.

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