Dena Carter's Mother on Arrest - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

06/23/05

Dena Carter's Mother on Arrest

It's been two years of one question after another. Where is Dena Carter? Then, who killed her? And why? Wednesday, police charged her boyfriend Michael Natson with her death and that of her unborn child.

This afternoon, we talked with Carter's mother and sister about the death of the Georgia Southern student, her relationship with Natson and her adopted community.

Michael Natson's arrest was welcome news to Diane Crooms. Her daughter disappeared from Georgia Southern nearly two years ago. Carter was six months pregnant at the time. Hunters found Carter's remains and those of her unborn child on Fort Benning, in Columbus, Georgia, where Natson was stationed.

When we spoke with Crooms via satellite, she said in the year Dena and Natson dated, she'd only talked to him on the phone. From the beginning, she thought this led back to Natson.

"I can't really tell you why," she told us. "It was just a feeling that said he had something to do with it."

Ironically, Natson served as a military policeman in the Army then the Air Force, all as a suspect in this case. "That was a major blow to us, that was unbelievable," said Jamal Sharaf, Dena's sister. "It's inconceivable that could happen and we're going to look for that answer too."

Coming to Statesboro from California--once to search, then back to pack her daughter and unborn granddaughter's belongings--Crooms expected to do it all alone, but quickly found support.

"I want to thank people in Statesboro, the church, Det. Briley, you," she told us. "Everyone was just so helpful. Whenever I called, you didn't turn me away."

And no matter how long the federal case takes to get to trial, she and Dena's sister will be there. "I will be there because I want to ask him why. Why, why, why."

It's an answer all of Dena's family and friends would want to hear.

Natson remains in federal custody. He should go before a magistrate within the next two weeks.

Reported by: Dal Cannady, dcannady@wtoc.com

Powered by Frankly