A body found burning in a secluded lot in Cleveland's Collingswood neighborhood last week has been finally been identified. The medical examiner used DNA to identify Benette Smith, 54. Cleveland firefighters discovered her body Feb. 19 in a field when they answered a call for a brush fire. Her body had been covered in dry shrubbery and set on fire which drew the attention of people in the neighborhood.
Once firefighters uncovered the body they called the police and the coroner. Smith's body was not only burned, she was also missing her head, hands and feet.
There is no word yet but it's speculated that whoever murdered Smith dismembered her in an attempt to conceal her identity. Her official cause of death hasn't been determined but the Cleveland Police Department is investigating her death as a homicide.
Smith's last known address was in Painesville in 2004 and it is unclear how long she has been in the Collingswood area. Smith hasn't been know to have been a particularly violent or hostile individual however she was released from prison on March 15, 2019 after serving an 18-month sentence for "assault and harassment by an inmate".
No matter what this woman's past, no one deserves to die like this.