Family still searching for man who brutally killed Fayetteville mom 41 years ago

Cumberland County News

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) — The brutal murder of a young mother is still unsolved decades later.

“She can finally rest if we put this to an end,” Tashia Farmer said.

This Sunday will mark 41 years since Brenda Covington was stabbed with a screwdriver.

Fayetteville police are spotlighting this case because they say they’re closer than ever to solving it — and they want to reach anyone who might be able to help them finally get the killer.

“She was an all-around good person,” Farmer said about her mother.

Before she was attacked, Covington was seen walking near Rhudy’s Pawn Shop on Murchison Road.

Fayetteville Police Sgt. Michael Bohannon says Brenda willingly got into a vehicle with a man who then drove her to a wooded area next to a cemetery on Brinkley Street.

“She then by all accounts was sexually assaulted and stabbed several times with a screwdriver,” Bohannon said.

The suspect then drove off.

“We believe after everything happened she was essentially left to die, and that’s when she ran up here seeking help.”

Covington, nearly naked and bleeding all over, collapsed on the porch of what used to be a house, but has since been demolished.  

She was able to give investigators limited information about what happened before she died the next day.

She told police it was an African American man, driving a blue or green Volkswagen.

Forty-one years later the family is still looking for answers.

“You can’t imagine what it does to a family when something like this happens,” said Brenda’s sister, Monica McCall, said.

Brenda’s only child Tashia was just 3-years-old at the time.

“Tashia was her heart, her pride and joy,” said Brenda’s sister Deborah Jones.

“I’m ready to just lay this to rest,” Tashia said. “I just want this to be solved.”

Tashia’s had countless nightmares about what happened to her mom.

“A blur over the killer’s face and I would wake up screaming,” Tashia said about her nightmares. “I want to look him in his eye, the only question I will have for him is why.”

Bohannon hopes to make that day possible for Covington’s family.

“They deserve closure on this, it would mean everything to me,” Bohannon said. “I don’t cry but I might cry if I was able to call and tell her that I’ve closed her mother’s case.”

Police are waiting to get DNA test results back to see if it leads them to the suspect.

They’re asking anyone with information about what happened to let them know.

The family is having a celebration of life for Covington this Sunday.

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