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
Weight: 90 lbs.
Hair Color: Brown/Black
Eye Color: Brown
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
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.
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.
Left: Vartasha McCullough, Kynande's mother
Right: Kevin Bennett, Kynande's father
If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
Whiteville Police Department
Det. Bobby Benton
National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
The Sun News
Child Protection Education of America, Inc.