Family and friends paid tribute Sunday to a Dallas woman who was stabbed to death on her way home from church.
Shearl Bennett was supposed to perform with the choir at Pilgrim Rest Missionary Baptist Church during Sunday morning's services. Instead, Bennett's family and friends prayed for those who are grieving.
Bennett was last seen at choir practice and Bible study Wednesday night. The 50-year-old woman was killed while walking from her car to her condo on Royal Lane.
"Coming from church, just got through praying to God, just asking for your Savior and everything, and then you go home and something like this happens to you," said her cousin, Eboni Jackson. "It's just not the way it should happen, because Shearl was going home to go sleep to wake up and go to work the next day."
Jackson and longtime friends of Bennett say she was quiet and reserved but giving.
"She just had a very kind and gentle spirit, always willing to help whoever was in need," said fellow church choir member Christy Byrd. "The circumstances from which she died was horrifying, but to know that she is in a better place, that she is in heaven, is very comforting for me."
As the church and her family heal, they said they hope to find justice.
"We don't hate the person, but the evil in that person that took someone, a sweet person like her, from us," said Randall Fears, minister of music. "It's definitely a tragedy for us. We will miss her."
A wake for Bennett is scheduled for Friday from 6 to 7 p.m. at the church. Her funeral is Saturday in her hometown of Jacksonville in East Texas, where her parents still live.
Crime Stoppers is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in the case.