North American Missing Persons Network
Kynande Kalehje Bennett

Above Images: Bennett, circa 2002; Center: Age-progressed to 6 (circa 2005); Right: Age-progressed to 11 (circa 2009)

Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance

  • Missing Since: September 29, 2002 from Whiteville, North Carolina
  • Classification: Endangered Missing
  • Date Of Birth: August 24, 1998
  • Age: 4
  • Height: 3'10"
  • Weight: 90 lbs.
  • Hair Color: Brown/Black
  • Eye Color: Brown
  • Race: Black
  • Gender: Female
  • Distinguishing Characteristics: Light complexion. Pierced ears.
    Birthmark on her arm in the shape of a seashell. Her hair was styled
    in small braids tied with small bows and/or barrettes.
  • Clothing: Gray FUBU t-shirt, blue jeans, white socks and black
  • NCIC Number: M-552739886
  • Case Number: NCMC946349

  • Details of Disappearance
    Kynande was reportedly last seen by her mother, Vartasha "Tasha" McCullough, at a K-Mart department store at 5:00 p.m. They resided in Conway, South Carolina and were visiting Kynande's uncle in Whiteville, North Carolina that day. At first McCullough claimed Kynande disappeared in an aisle of the store, but she later changed her story and said she walked into the store and thought Kynande was behind her, but turned around and she was gone.

    Nobody remembered seeing the child with her mother in K-Mart that day. Investigators claim that there is no evidence that Kynande was even in the state at the time. No one other than Kynande's parents saw her in the two days before she was reported missing. Authorities later discovered biological evidence in McCullough's apartment that suggested a physical assault had taken place. The evidence was matched through DNA to Kynande.

    Kynande's parents (pictured below) were both arrested in February 2003 and charged with homicide by child abuse in connection with their daughter's case. On October 6, 2005, the charges against Kevin Bennett were dropped due to lack of sufficient evidence. McCullough will stand trial beginning February 6, 2006. On February 10, 2006, Vartasha McCullough was convicted of homicide by child abuse - specifically, knowingly aiding and abetting, unlawful neglect of a child and inflicting great bodily harm on a child. The judge sentenced her to 20 years in prison.

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    Left: Vartasha McCullough, Kynande's mother
    Right: Kevin Bennett, Kynande's father

    Investigating Agency
    If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
    Whiteville Police Department
    Det. Bobby Benton
    (910) 640-1428

    Source Information
    National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
    The Sun News
    Child Protection Education of America, Inc.
    Georgetown Times