Only babies' cries heard through door, says grandma who found mom dead

From the Chicago Tribune--

Only babies' cries heard through door, says grandma who found mom dead
Aurora woman was stabbed to death with 2 kids nearby, police say

By Josh Noel | Tribune staff reporter
10:51 PM CDT, October 30, 2007

When she heard nothing but the cries of her grandchildren through the
apartment door Tuesday morning, Brenda Beck feared her daughter might
be unconscious from some sort of medical emergency.

What firefighters and Beck found after breaking into the Aurora
apartment was far worse. Her daughter, Brenetta, 25, had been stabbed
to death, her body left slumped against a wall as her 10-day-old son,
Trevion, and 14-month-old daughter, Tamia, wailed in another room.

"I knew something was terribly wrong," Brenda Beck said. "But I never
thought about murder. Never, ever, ever."

Aurora police said Tuesday they have identified a suspect but that no
one has been arrested or charged.

"She was so trusting," Brenda Beck said. "She didn't have any

Hezekiah Hamilton, Brenetta Beck's estranged boyfriend and the father
of her two children, said by phone Tuesday that police questioned him
for about four hours but that he had "no clue" who killed her.

"I was angry [about being questioned], but I see where they are coming
from," Hamilton said.

Beck, who lived in the Sherwood apartment complex in the 1700 block of
Molitor Road, was found about 6:30 a.m. after an aunt had stopped by
to check on her. When she got no answer, she called her sister, Brenda
Beck, who dialed 911.

Brenda Beck said her grandchildren were crying on a living room couch.
She worries that Tamia might have seen the killing.

"Whoever did it was brutal to her," said Brenda Beck, 47, a bus driver
who also lives in the complex.

Nearly 30 family members and friends converged on Beck's apartment
complex Tuesday.

They remembered Beck as cheerful and trusting, even though they said
she had problems with Hamilton, whom she had taken to court for child
support payments. Hamilton confirmed they had been to court and that
he was ordered to pay more than $500 a month.

"She loved her life," said Tim Beushausen, 57, Beck's
step-grandfather. "She didn't hang out with thugs."

Just as her own mother did, Brenetta Beck was raising her children as
a single working mother. A graduate of East Aurora High School, she
cared for terminally ill patients at a Lombard hospice.

"She would feel so sad for them, but she loved helping them out," said
her aunt, Valerie Beck, 53. "She had patients she would get so
attached to."

Brenda Beck had spent the first week after Trevion's delivery at her
daughter's apartment, then returned to check on her often, including
the night before the slaying, when they had dinner together.

She said she plans to care for her grandchildren in her one-bedroom
apartment, where photos of her only child line the wall. "I'll feel
better when there is justice," Beck said. "I want to know who and

Aurora CrimeStoppers is offering up to a $1,000 reward for information
about the slaying. Tips can be left at 630-892-1000 or with Aurora
police at 630-801-6655.


Copyright © 2007, Chicago Tribune,1,5700896.story

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