Dena Carter: A Look Back - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

06/22/05

Dena Carter: A Look Back

From the day Dena Carter disappeared, friends thought boyfriend Michael Natson may be involved. Natson was arrested today on murder charges in this case.

"I know she had a hard time wanting to tell him and then when she did, she came into the office one day all upset because they got in a fight," said friend Sandra Spear in 2003.

Diane Crooms talked with her daughter the night she disappeared. She came here all the way from California. She walked the campus of Georgia Southern University in hopes she could find some clue only a mother would recognize.

"Dena told me all the people she goes with, what stores they go to, where she goes when she can't come home," she said in September of 2003.

When remains of Dena and her unborn child were found at Fort Benning, suspicions further pointed to Natson. He was from Statesboro, but stationed at Benning with the Georgia National Guard.

"It appears the remains may have been in that area three months to six months," the fort's Monica Marganaro said.

Members of Agape Worship Center loved and adopted Dena when she came to Statesboro, and their bond grew when she found out she was expecting.

Member Barbara Mosley told us, "She was so young and had her whole life ahead of her. She was...if anyone knew her, they would be sad too."

For nearly two years, the church has battled anguish and grief, hoping for answers.

"We want it to be put to rest. But we don't know what to expect," said Rev. Anthony Chavers.

While the arrest may offer some answers, the biggest question to most remains why.

Of course Natson is innocent until proven guilty, but this is the day many of those people have wondered would ever come, as Dena's mother emptied her apartment full of baby clothes and furniture and when the church held their memorial.

Reported by: Dal Cannady, dcannady@wtoc.com

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