WASHINGTON, N.C. (WITN) - An Eastern Carolina family continues to mourn the loss of one of its members as investigators enter the 25th year of searching for her killer.
Rebecca Moses Garcia was shot in Snow Hill and although there has been a suspect since the investigation started, he’s continued to evade arrest.
The year was 1997 when Rebecca Garcia died. Her two-year-old son was at the home at the time of his mother’s death. As her family replays the hardest time of their life, they have grown impatient with the Greene County Sheriff’s Office’s investigation.
“This is the man that murdered my sister 25 years ago,” said Beverly Wilkerson as she held a mugshot.
For years, Wilkerson has been haunted by the image of Ramirez Garcia. Investigators believe he shot and killed his then estranged wife, Rebecca.
A warrant is out for him charging him with first-degree murder.
“Every day we still live with it. No answers, a lot more questions,” said Wilkerson.
The family says Rebecca Garcia was living in Beaufort County but went to the Snow Hill area to pay a ticket. She was staying with a friend in a mobile home on Highway 58.
In the early morning hours, deputies believe Ramirez Garcia attacked.
For years, no new details have been provided to the victim’s family.
“There’s been nothing, absolutely nothing done, except for my daughter making a Facebook page,” said Wilkerson. “She’s done a great job and people have reached out to us, but somebody has got to know where he is.”
The Facebook page is called Justice for Rebecca Moses and it has reached people throughout the East.
Lloyd Tippett says he used to run in the same social circles as Rebecca when they were younger. He found out about her death from the family’s posts.
“I found out who she was and how I know her and it was just so mind-blowing because I’m reading about how she’s supposedly dead and gone and I’m thinking, ‘What happened?’” said Tippett.
Not only did Rebecca’s killer take her away from Beverly, but she can’t find the strength to go near the site of her death.
When asked how she finds the strength to carry on, Wilkerson said, “That’s a good question. We ain’t got no choice. You gotta keep going, you gotta keep looking. You gotta keep remembering.”
Tippett says remembering Rebecca through her Facebook has inspired him to share other families’ stories in need of closure.
“Rebecca being gone now, she don’t have the say so,” said Tippett. “Especially for the family, it’s made it hard.”
As they keep going, they keep advocating for the woman that no longer can.
Greene County Sheriff Matt Sasser says in old cases like this one, updates to the investigation do not come often.
If anyone were to produce a lead on the whereabouts of Ramirez Garcia, he tells WITN his office is ready to pursue them.
Rebecca Garcia’s case remains open so anyone with information on her death is asked to contact deputies.
CRAVEN COUNTY, N.C. (WITN) - A baby boy in Bridgeton made an unconventional entrance to the world, but his mother says the traumatic birth event could have been avoided.
“Without a doubt, she was in labor,” said the baby’s father. “Anybody could tell that.”
Lauren and Steve Banks were ready to bring their son into the world. At 39 weeks pregnant and contracting, the parents headed to CarolinaEast Medical Center for delivery.
“She was denied admittance to labor and delivery a couple of times, and she was in obvious pain and labor, and within 30 minutes of her being home her water broke,” said Steve Banks.
The couple rushed back to CarolinaEast an hour after being turned away from the hospital.
The family’s home is about a half-hour from the hospital. But Baby Banks had no intentions of holding back.
“Thankfully, I was able to get a neighbor to come and watch the girls who were asleep upstairs,” said Banks. “We had to go, right then.”
Baby Banks was born in-between pumps four and five at the Handy Mart gas station, his dad and a Bridgeton EMT handling the delivery.
“I watched my wife give birth to my son right there in the parking lot,” said Banks. “He came out and he was purple, and he wasn’t making a lot of noise. I was concerned on top of everything else going on.”
Just as he made his arrival, emergency services pulled into the parking lot.
“They came up and saw what was happening and jumped into action,” recalled Banks. “I’m sure that they are a large part of the reason to why everything went as smoothly as it did and there were no complications. I can’t thank them enough.”
The family was then taken to CarolinaEast by ambulance. When the parents questioned the hospital’s prior judgment, they say the hospital offered to detail their car in return.
WITN asked CarolinaEast about what happened.
The hospital system said in part, “CarolinaEast Health System cannot legally comment on patient matters or concerns. We internally follow all protocols and guidelines for such concerns but cannot publicly comment on them.”
On Tuesday the hospital system added that they would not turn anyone away and that an obstetrician evaluated the pregnant woman.
“Unfortunately babies don’t always cooperate with expectations…we’ve all heard stories of newborns making debuts in homes, cars, restaurants, and even gas stations. The Banks’ baby certainly made an unexpected entrance but we are so happy he is healthy and precious and absolutely wish the family all the best!” they said.
"Someone just please explain to me why this happened,” Banks said.
Now a few days recovered from the traumatic birth, the parents are holding their son tightly.
“He’s great. He’s healthy,” beamed Banks. “We’re happy he’s home.”
This baby is Lauren Banks’ second child. When she tried to get a bed at CarolinaEast she says she was four centimeters dilated, but until she reached five centimeters, she wouldn’t be considered for admittance.
As far as the car detailing, Banks says they did take the hospital up on the offer, as the car really needed it.
Banks says the boy has some jaundice currently being treated, otherwise, their son is a healthy newborn.
Every story you see here is written, filmed, edited, fronted, and day-turned by Maddie. As an MMJ with WITN, she really does it all!