Burton case returned to Delaware

Police: Nicole Bennett died in Sussex County
August 12, 2013

Matthew N. Burton will be charged by Delaware State Police and faces trial in Delaware in connection with the murder of Nicole Bennett, a Millsboro mother of three found dead in 2012.

Burton had been charged with first- and second-degree murder by Maryland State Police after Bennett's body was found off a rural road in Worcester County, Md. He has been held in a Maryland facility since his 2012 arrest.

Maryland withdrew charges against Burton, who will be officially charged in Delaware once his extradition from Maryland is complete, said Sgt. Paul Shavack of the Delaware State Police.

Ironically, Burton was extradited to Maryland a year ago to faces charges there following a hearing held August 2012 in Georgetown.

Once returned to Delaware, Burton faces charges of first-degree murder, first-degree murder during the commission of a felony and first-degree rape.

Delaware State Police along with investigators from Maryland State Police and Worcester County have determined Burton committed the crimes in Delaware, Shavack said.

A passer-by found Bennett's body on an embankment off of Swamp Road, Worcester County, on June 15, 2012. An autopsy by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore determined she had been asphyxiated, Shavack said.

Autopsy evidence also showed she was already dead when her body was left on the embankment off a dirt road, Shavack said.

Bennett had been the subject of a missing person's case, but an hour after her husband had called 911 to report her missing, her body was discovered, Shavack said. Her husband told police she had not returned home from Bay Shore Community Church in Gumboro, where she had worked late the evening of June 14.

Police found Bennett's car parked at the church, locked with her personal belongings inside; police later learned Burton, the church custodian, was also at the church while she was there, Shavack said.

Police interviewed Burton, family members and co-workers before Bennett's body was found, six miles from church, Shavack said.

DNA evidence gathered by Maryland State forensic technicians connected Burton to the crime, Shavack said.

Burton was arrested July 6, 2012 by a U.S. Marshal's Task Force following a traffic stop on Route 1 near Rehoboth Beach.