Neighbors Mourn Murdered Benton City Man's Death - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Neighbors Mourn Murdered Benton City Man's Death

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BENTON CITY, Wash- The people of Benton City were in shock as their quiet, small town dealt with a big city crime. The body of a Benton City man was found Monday morning next to a church and detectives are investigating it as a homicide.

Patrol deputies responded to a suspicious vehicle in the parking lot of the Assembly Of God Church in Benton City. Along with the car they found the body of 55-year-old Michael Edwards.

"If this is a criminal act, that's scary," said Don Kearns who lives near the church. "It's scary to think something that close is going on in our otherwise peaceful community."

Monday morning around 7:30 following a 911 call, deputies secured a perimeter and searched the parking lot for clues and marked out traces of evidence. The nephew of deceased Michael Edwards came to the scene and confirmed the identity of his uncle. Edwards lived just down the road at Elm Grove RV Park.

"He was a real good person," said Serina Miles his friend and neighbor. "I'm just sorry this happened to him."

Edwards' neighbors told us he was like a member of their family. He formed close friendships with the people who lived around him.

"He didn't really do anything to deserve that," said Derick Schneider. "I mean he was a good guy."

"Mike was a very very good honest person," said Tamera Garcia. "We were his family, he trusted us more than he trusted his real family."

"I just think if anybody out there knows anything about what happened to him, please call the cops and let them know," said Miles "He didn't deserve to die, he didn't. He will be missed too."

Because this case is an active investigation being conducted by Benton County Sheriff's Detectives, not much more information is currently available. NBC Right Now will have any further details as they are released.