On April 18, 2017, police found the bodies of two women in Lumberton, North Carolina.
Christina “Kristin” Bennett was discovered at 505 Peachtree Street. She was 32 years old. Officers first responded to the area for a call about an odor. They found Christina naked, wrapped in a gray blanket inside of a television cabinet. The house on the 500-block building was vacant from Hurricane Matthew the year before. Then more recently, the area was flooded.
The remains of 36-year-old Rhonda Jones were found upside down in a trash can, outside of a vacant building at 702 East 5th Street. Shelia Price had last spoken to her daughter 15 days before. Shelia started to worry when Rhonda didn’t show up for Easter.
“She’s just quiet. She didn’t really mess with too many people…” Megan Oxendine said in a local news clip on April 19th,”.. I don’t understand how somebody could do somebody’s child, mother, niece, like that.”
Rhonda Jones and Megan Oxendine lived in the same neighborhood. Megan told her family that she was inside the house Rhonda was found at, the very same day. Her and a man were inside the empty house doing heroin. The FBI confirmed that Megan was not who reported the body to police, but wouldn’t comment on if she was at the house that day or not.
Two weeks later Megan was attacked by a group of unknown men. She was able to get away, but did not seek medical treatment. Police heard about her attack and a detective wanted to speak to her, thinking she may know more about Rhonda and Christina. But they never got the chance.
Megan Oxendine’s Body Was Found 6 Weeks Later.
On June 3, 2017, Megan Oxendine was found nude under a tree, outside of a house on East 8th Street- 500 feet from where Rhonda and Christina were found, all within the same four blocks. She had been covered with tree limbs and roof shingles.
Law enforcement believes the three deaths are linked, but have not been able to confirm it with any physical evidence. They are calling the deaths “suspicious”. Three years later, they still have had little information to build a case off of.
Autopsy Reports Provided Few Answers
Families had to wait until late 2018 to know the medical examiners findings. Law enforcement was concerned about the effect releasing them could have on the investigation. All three of the women’s autopsies came back with their cause of death as “undetermined”, with no exact dates of death. Each were found in states of decomposition, making it difficult to determine injuries.
Jone’s autopsy notes that maggots were present. Her nose was fractured. Cocaine was found in her system, but the medical examiner could not determine if the cocaine played a role in her death, nor if her injury occurred before being put in the trash can. Cuts were on forehead, chin, as well as two “abrasions” on her upper back. Her mother believes these are proof of an attack.
Medical Examiner Jennifer Altman said there was no apparent physical injury that causes Oxendine’s death. Toxicology reports show trace amounts of cocaine and morphine (which may show herion use), but none could link to a cause of death. Authorities won’t release the state of Megan’s body when she was found, though her family was denied an open casket funeral.
It was noted that asphyxiation could not be ruled out.
The families are hoping someone will come forward with information to help determine a timeline. When the three women were last seen or even who they were seen with. Rhonda’s mother has spoke about her disappointed with the police investigation, including why rape kits weren’t done until 20 months after the women’s deaths.
A non-profit group called Shatter the Silence formed by the families, to advocate for answers. Shatter The Silence is also trying to speak out for all the unsolved murders and missing persons in Robeson County. The group has grown to several thousand members, all hoping for justice.
Lumberton Police Reached Out to the FBI for Help.
The FBI was called in and conducted 500 interviews with people in Lumberton. None of which led to any turning points. Many are reluctant to talk, in an area that has a high crime rate with a small population.
- Anyone who saw Christina “Kristin” Bennett between April 14 and April 18, 2017 are being asked to call police. Bennett was found April 18, 2017 on Peachtree Street.
- Anyone who saw Rhonda Jones between April 14 and April 18, 2017 are being asked to call police. Jones was found April 18th, 2017 on East 5th Street.
- Anyone who saw Megan Oxendine between May 31 and June 3, 2017 are being asked to call police. Oxendine was found June 3, 2017 on East 8th Street.
The FBI is offering a $30,000 reward for information that leads to a resolution. If you have any information, you’re asked to call the Lumberton Police Department at 910-671-3845. You can also call FBI Special Agent Glenn at (704) 672-6100.