Originally created 02/25/03

Bail set for parents of missing girl



CONWAY, S.C. -- Bail has been set at $60,000 each for the parents of a missing 4-year-old girl.

Eddie Kevin Bennett Jr., 28, and Vartasha McCullough White, 23, were arrested Feb. 12 on charges of homicide by child abuse.

The two said Kynande Bennett disappeared from a Kmart in Whiteville, N.C., on Sept. 29.

Neither suspect is a flight risk or a danger to the community, Circuit Judge Steven John said in setting bail Monday morning. Both were identified as suspects some time ago and neither left the area, he said.

John did order them to live with their parents if they are released from jail. Bennett's parents live in Loris and White's live in Georgetown, WBTW-TV reported.

Both were still in custody Monday afternoon.

Arrest warrants said DNA evidence gathered from White's home in September matched the child's DNA and that witnesses reported seeing signs of physical abuse on the child's body when she was last seen.

Kynande has never been found despite extensive searches in the area between Conway and Whiteville. Whiteville police said in early October that there was no evidence that Kynande had been in the town on the day of her disappearance.