GSU Student Case Remains Open One Year Later - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

09/10/04

GSU Student Case Remains Open One Year Later

Dena Carter, 1979-2003. Dena Carter, 1979-2003.

Beside the attacks of September 11, tomorrow also marks the anniversary of a local case that ended in murder. A pregnant Georgia Southern student, Dena Carter, disappeared only to be found dead months later.

The case remains as much a mystery today as when she disappeared a year ago. Members of her church still avoid the place she sat every Sunday. "Sometimes I can still see her," said Evelyn Chavers of the Agape Worship Center. "It's like you get a glimpse of her when you look in that spot where she was."

Friends remember the graduate student who moved to Statesboro and made their church her home. Six months pregnant last September, she left her apartment to study and was never seen again. Remains of Dena and the unborn child she'd named Destiny turned up in December at Fort Benning.

The case remains unsolved and Chavers says relatives and loved ones are still distraught. "There's no closure," she said. "It keeps hanging there, lingering and lingering. It's almost like she's not resting and we're not either. It feels bad."

Diane Crooms' first visit to Statesboro and Georgia Southern was to search the campus for clues to her daughter's disappearance. The second was to pack her belongings and ship them back to California. The next will be when authorities release the remains of Dena and Destiny for burial. And the last will probably be whenever their killer is brought to justice.

If you have any information on this case, you're asked to call your local authorities.

Reported by: Dal Cannady, dcannady@wtoc.com

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