20-year-old Raleigh murder still on minds of family, police

08/25/2014 5:14 PM

08/25/2014 10:32 PM

Russell Vinson’s mission is never far from his mind. It has been 20 years now since his niece, Beth Ellen Vinson, was murdered Aug. 16, 1994, in Raleigh. And Vinson wants answers and justice.

Beth Ellen Vinson was 17 years old and had moved from Goldsboro to Raleigh only six weeks before her death. She took a job working for an escort chain and left her apartment on Avent Ferry Road in the early morning hours for an escort service date of exotic dancing.

Her car was found later that morning, abandoned on Yonkers Road. More than a week later, her body was found in a ditch on Wicker Drive, near where her car had been found. She had been stabbed multiple times.

The unsolved case remains one of the longest on the Raleigh police books. And Russell Vinson says he wants some peace for Beth Ellen’s parents, who now are older and in poor health.

“It’s very emotional,” Russell Vinson said. “To everyone else, she is a murder victim, but to her family she was just a little girl. She will always be a little girl to me.”

He’s offering people with information the chance to “remove that weight from around your shoulders.” Detective Jerry Faulk is helping. Faulk says police have evidence, though some vanished in the week before her body was found. Still, Faulk says, the evidence hasn’t been connected to an individual.

“I will take 1,000 frivolous tips,” Faulk says, “to get the one good one that may lead to the murderer.”

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