Wednesday, August 11, 2004
Bynum filed for divorce
By GORDON ANDERSON
CARTHAGE - The husband of a woman found strangled in the trunk of her car filed for divorce just over a month before her murder, court records from Moore County show.
The Rev. Melvin Bynum, pastor at Cry Out Loud Ministries in Sanford, filed June 21 for a divorce after 19 years from his now deceased wife Marnita, claiming that the couple hadn't lived together since October of 2001. All other reports indicate, however, that the couple did live together in Aberdeen.
"From our information, it certainly appears that they were living together," said Moore County Sheriff's Chief Deputy Neil Godfrey.
Marnita Bynum was found stragled in the trunk of her car on a rural road in Richmond County on Aug. 2. Deputies there said she had been in the trunk for at least a day, although Melvin Bynum reportedly told his congregation that she was home sick that Sunday.
Deputies in Moore and Richmond counties won't say if Melvin Bynum is a suspect, although they have questioned him and searched the couple's home.
Richmond County deputies have said they hope to make an arrest soon.
Now, information has surfaced that Melvin Bynum filed for a divorce in June. The papers didn't give a reason for the divorce other than to say that it was uncontested and the couple hadn't lived together since late 2001. The papers indicate that there would be no pending alimony or custody actions for the couple's two children.
On July 26, only a week before Marnita's death, Melvin Bynum filed a motion for a summary judgement, in essence asking a judge to go ahead and approve the divorce. A hearing had been set for Aug. 23.
Melvin Bynum could not be reached for comment. His personal phone line at the church appears to have been disconnected and the Web site for his church has been taken off the Internet.
Bynum's attorney for the divorce proceeding, Mary Pope of Southern Pines, could not be reached Tuesday.
The revelations about the Bynums' marital status raise more questions about the case. From all indications the couple did live together and members of the church appeared to have believed the couple was together.
This is starting to sound like another husband killing his wife. If not, I apologize. Anymore it just seems to set off warning alarms.
Rest In Peace Dear Marnita Bynum
I hope this is solved soon for the family's sake.