Teen's Random Murder by Store Clerk Should Put Us All on Edge

storeA 16-year-old girl in Oklahoma was allegedly beaten to death by a store clerk when she stopped in to buy a Coke.

Police say Braylee Rae Henry -- a local beauty pageant contestant and popular athlete -- died of blunt force trauma to the head and was dumped in a field after popping into the Tepee Totum.

The girl's father reported Henry and her car missing after she didn't return from what was supposed to be a quick trip.

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The suspect, Miles Bench, had worked at the shop just a few weeks before being accused of the crime. While cops say his motive is unclear, they found a pool of blood in the store and smears near the front door. They later found her body in a pasture on property belonging to Bench's grandparents. 

They eventually tracked him down on the interstate in Henry's car and wearing blood-stained clothes.

With all the reports of face-eating zombies and pedophiles, it's hard to be truly surprised by anything anymore. But this is one of those senseless murders that leaves you shaking your head out of both disbelief and fear. This young girl was in the middle of doing something kids do every day. It was a simple, mundane errand and her life was taken away.

I wish I could find comfort in the fact that this seemingly random act of violence is rare. But truth is, it's not. In April, a new mom had just left the pediatrician's parking lot when she was killed for her 3-day-old baby. In a less gruesome yet quite disturbing incident, a hotel front desk clerk gave a woman's room key to a man claiming to be her husband. The man, whom she had never met before, came into her room, groped her, and ran out. I can only imagine the kind of crime this man will escalate to.

Is there a way to safeguard against these bizarre, seemingly random crimes?


Image via burgermac/Flickr

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