The family of Alicia Benefield is coping with the discovery of the teen’s body.
Benefield was found Tuesday, March 20 after she was reported missing on Friday, March 14. Investigators found her in a clearing in a wooded area off of Elysian Fields Road in Marshall, Texas.
"Our hearts been ripped out,” says Amy McKellum, Benefield’s aunt. “She suffered a violent death."
Benefield's mother, Tomeika Hudson, only had this to say.
"I just want to thank everybody who participated for coming out and help finding my baby, that’s it,” says Hudson. “Now, I can be at a little peace until justice is served."
Investigators say it took a long time to get Benefield's boyfriend, Rodris Webster, to open up, but he finally confessed to killing her. Then, he led deputies to her body.
“We will allege that she was in the vehicle with the suspect traveling from Elysian Fields to Marshall,” says Harrison County Sheriff Tom McCool. “It appears, and it's to the best of my recollection, that towards the Elysian Fields area is where the incident, the murder occurred.”
Sheriff McCool says Benefield was shot, but he can't confirm if she was strangled.
McKellum says Hudson talked to her daughter all the time about the couple's rocky relationship.
"Always tried to tell her the situation, but again, that's where we as women and as a community have to come together when we see things we can't just sit by and say well, ‘I'm telling her,’” says McKellum. “We've got to get more involved."
They hope Benefield's death serves as a wake-up call for other females battling domestic violence.
The family also wants to say thank you to all the strangers and investigators that looked for Benefield.