NC Wanted: Police have few answers in 2017 deaths of three Lumberton women
The deaths of three women found within a four-block radius have baffled law enforcement and the City of Lumberton since 2017.
The FBI has offered a reward of $30,000 for information to help solve the deaths of Rhonda Jones, Christina Bennett and Megan Oxendine, who were all found dead within six weeks of each other in 2017.
Shelia Price is haunted by the fact that she doesn’t know who killed her daughter, Rhonda.
“She was found in a city trash can, upside down, naked,” Price said.
Jones, a 32-year-old mother of five, was found behind a home on 5th Street on April 18, 2017.
“She wasn’t stabbed, she wasn’t shot, she was not beat or strangled,” Price said.
The same day, the body of 32-year-old Bennett was found inside a TV cabinet in an abandoned home on Peachtree Street. Six weeks later, a teenager discovered the body of 28-year-old Oxendine behind a house on 8th Street.
Fifteen-year-old Marcus McCollum lived across the street from where he and a friend found Oxendine’s body. He said they started noticing a foul odor while playing basketball in his yard.
“That’s when I got on my knees and I looked and I had seen like the hip and then my friend didn’t see it, so we walked around the other way and I had to move the bush back and that’s when he had looked and he said, ‘Boy, that’s a body,’” McCollum said.
Oxendine’s body was found near railroad tracks, not far from where the decomposed bodies of the other two women were found.
Investigators have yet to announce whether all three deaths are connected.
“We haven’t ruled out the possibility that they are connected, but we certainly don’t know at this point. We’re conducting neighborhood canvases and interviews, trying to determine whether or not they’re related,” Lumberton Police Capt. Terry Parker said.
On Friday, an autopsy released for Jones said her body was so decomposed that the medical examiner was unable to determine an exact cause of death.
Until an arrest is made, family members are left to grieve.
“I don’t believe in the death penalty, but I want them to rot in prison, I honestly do,” Price said. “You took my baby, you had no right.”
Anybody with information about the deaths of the Lumberton women should call the N.C. Wanted hotline at 866-439-2683.