Three hours later, at 5:30 a.m., a used car lot employee arrived for their shift and discovered Beth-Ellen’s car blocking the lot’s entrance.
The employee immediately contacted police to report the vehicle, and, due to the odd manner in which it was parked, authorities began investigating the white 1990 Mazda 626.
Officers immediately noticed that all of the car windows had been rolled down, the radio was still blaring, and one of Beth-Ellen’s shoes was left behind on the driver’s side.
While authorities were making these discoveries and beginning to suspect foul play, Beth-Ellen’s boyfriend, Rick, also arrived on the scene. He told the police that he was also out looking for Beth-Ellen because she had been out all night and never returned home.
So, authorities quickly launched a search– but Beth-Ellen’s remains were tragically discovered one week later.
On August 23, 1994, employees of a warehouse on Wicker Road began complaining of a foul smell. So, the warehouse’s owner inspected the building that afternoon and discovered Beth-Ellen’s remains in a small ditch, hidden under some pieces of cardboard.
The coroner’s office later revealed that she had been stabbed fifteen times.
And three days later, the North Carolina Governor’s Office, in collaboration with the Raleigh Crime Stoppers, announced a six thousand dollar reward for anyone with information regarding the murder.
By September 8, 1994, the reward doubled to twelve thousand dollars.
FBI; pictured above is a VICAP poster regarding Beth-Ellen’s case