The body of 35-year-old Nicole Bennett of Millsboro was recovered from an embankment off of a dirt road in Worcester County, Md., at 9 a.m. on June 15.
“It has officially been ruled a homicide,” said Maryland State Police spokesperson Elena Russo. “We at this point have not officially declared a cause. We know it was homicide, but we don’t know cause.”
Bennett was reported as missing to the Delaware State Police at 8 a.m. on Friday, June 15, by her husband, Keith, who said she had not returned home from work the previous evening.
Bennett’s body was discovered less than six miles from Bay Shore Babies and SPLASH in Gumboro, Del., where she worked. A 911 call that morning reported the finding of the body of an unidentified woman on Swamp Road. The caller told police he was walking in the area when he noticed the woman’s body lying on an embankment that slopes down from the roadway.
“There’s a guy who apparently doesn’t live too far from that area who told police that he walks around those roads, just looking for turtles and wildlife. That’s when he ran across this woman’s body,” Russo explained.
She said that the investigation into the case was still ongoing early this week and that the cause of Bennett’s death would not be released while her murder is still under investigation and suspects are being questioned.
“That’s really all they want to put out there, because that would be part of questioning… They are questioning suspects.”
DSP Public Information Officer Master Cpl. Gary E. Fournier said that the Delaware State Police only took Keith Bennett’s missing-person report and are not leading the murder investigation, due to Maryland State Police having jurisdiction over the Wicomico County location where her body was found. But he said the DSP will continue to be involved in the investigation as needed.
“We’ll share information back and forth,” said Fournier. “It’s a sharing network. It’s something that needs to be disseminated to us. We’ll follow up on their lead. If we have any information that we receive, something suspicious, we’ll contact them.”
At this time, a monetary reward is being offered to anyone with information leading to the arrest of the individual(s) responsible for Bennett’s murder.
Anyone who was traveling on or around the Swamp Road area on Thursday evening, June 14, who may have noticed any vehicles on the side of the road or people walking in the area, is being asked to call the MSP at the Berlin barracks or the Worcester County Lower Eastern Shore Crime Solvers at (410) 548-1776.