Reward Offered For Murder Leads

BERLIN — Maryland State Police homicide detectives late this week continued to investigate the murder of a Millsboro woman found on a roadside embankment in Whaleyville last Friday morning although no firm suspects have been identified.

Shortly before 9 a.m. last Friday, Worcester Central received a 911 call reporting the discovery of the body of an unidentified woman found deceased and lying in an embankment off Swamp Rd., a dirt road east of Nelson Rd. in Whaleyville. The caller told police he walking along the rural road in Whaleyville in an area where there are no homes in the immediate vicinity when he noticed a woman’s body lying in an embankment that slopes down from the roadway.

During the course of the initial investigation, Maryland State Police homicide detectives learned the victim was Nicole Bennett, 35, of Millsboro, Del., who was reported missing by her husband just an hour earlier. Bennett’s husband called 911 and reported her missing at around 8 a.m. last Friday morning after she did not return home from work at the Bay Shore Community Church in Millsboro the night before. The Swamp Rd. site is about six miles from the church where Bennett worked.

According to the missing person’s report and family members, Bennett had a tattoo of a rose on the inside of her right ankle. The woman found in the embankment had the same rose tattoo as confirmed by the Delaware State Police and Bennett’s family. A family member told police they had last heard from Bennett around 7:40 p.m. on the night of June 14.

Deputies from the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office, investigators from the Worcester County Bureau of Investigation (WCBI), the Delaware State Police and the Maryland State Police homicide unit responded to the scene. Crime scene technicians from the MSP Forensic Sciences Division responded to gather evidence. The Maryland State Police Homicide Unit has taken the lead on the investigation.

Maryland State Police spokesman Greg Shipley said late Wednesday afternoon the investigation is active and ongoing although no new information was available. Shipley did confirm Bennett’s vehicle was located at the church where she worked. Homicide investigators interviewed the individual who discovered Bennett’s body early last Friday morning, but no new information has been released, nor have any suspects been identified.

The Worcester County State’s Attorney’s Office, WCBI and the Wicomico County Bureau of Investigation have also been assisting. Law enforcement officials are interviewing suspects while the investigation continues.

Bennett’s body has been transported to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore for an autopsy and the cause of death has not yet been determined.

This week, a monetary reward is being offered to anyone with information leading to the arrest of a suspect or suspects responsible for Bennett’s murder. Calls are being taken by the Worcester County Lower Eastern Shore Crime Solvers at 410-548-1776 and calls will remain confidential.

Bennett worked as the director of the child care center of Bay Shore Babies and SPLASH, the Bay Shore Community Church’s daycare facility. She is survived by her husband, whom she married in 1998, and her three young daughters. A memorial service and celebration of Bennett’s life was held on Wednesday afternoon and her remains will be flown to her native Nebraska for funeral services. Contributions can be made to the Nicole Reiser Memorial Fund at the Millsboro branch of the WSFS Bank, 2664 Center View Drive, Millsboro, Del. 19966.