Justice for Kynande- A Special Report - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Justice for Kynande- A Special Report

Kynande Bennett Kynande Bennett
Vatarsha McCollough Vatarsha McCollough

JULY 12, 2005 -- One of the most high profile crimes in this area in the last decade is still unsolved. There has been an arrest but no trial, and News 6 asked the question, why. 

Many people will remember the haunting image of a mother crying for the return of her four-year-old daughter Kynande.

Vatarsha McCollough said her child went missing in a local K-Mart. Police didn't buy her story. They arrested her and her boyfriend, Kevin Bennett, more than two years ago. The couple still hasn't gone to trial.

There were massive searches and candlelight vigils held two years ago, until investigators said the missing person story was a hoax. 

The body of the young girl was never found.

Ralph Wilson represents McCollough and thinks the public is entitled to a resolution. He feels justice should be brought to the case and all people involved.

"If there isn't sufficient evidence then the case should be dismissed. If there is evidence then the case ought to be tried," says Wilson.

Wilson says he desperately wants the trial to begin, but only the prosecutor can take the case to court.

So News 6 reporter Justin Smith asked Assistant Horry Solicitor Bert Von Herrman why the case has not gone to trial after more than two years. 

"You've got to make sure that you have your ducks in a row. This is only the third 'no body' case that's been tried in South Carolina. One of the elements we have to prove is she is dead. We don't have a body right now. That is the difficult part of a case. That's the reason they don't prosecute them a whole lot," says Von Herrman.

McCollough's attorney says in the meantime his client is waiting.

"She can't search and she can't do nothing. She can't win especially with criminal charges pending," says Wilson.

McCollough still maintains her innocence. It is unknown if the public defender representing Bennett ever requested a continuance in this case. That attorney refused to comment for this story.

Reported by Justin Smith

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