The Brunswick beacon. (Shallotte, N.C.) 19??-current, July 07, 1994, Image 1
I After A Teenager's Trials, Amy Had Begun Putting Her Life In Order BY SUSAN USHER A mischievous, bubbly China doll with big, "blueberry" eyes, a child-like innocence, a compassion ate heart and her father's dry wit. That's the way her family will al ways remember Amy Caroline Frink, the 18-year-old Shallotte teenager who was brutally slain last month. Amy's body was found June 24 in the RrnnksviUe. S C., section just south of the state line near Hickman's Crossroads, several miles and a state away from where her 198K silver Subaru was recov ered that same day. North Carolina and South Carolina law enforce ment agencies arc continuing to in vestigate. Who was Amy Frink? "I saw darkness ? I had a life of no meaning," she had written only a few months before her violent death "I was depressed, but now I'm happy and the light came my way one day when I decided to pray. An angel flew over and set me ablaze. I fly now. I have wings. I'm so happy in this kingdom of ease. If only I had said to myself in my boredom times, there's nothing left to do but smile smile smile!" "Peace man." All the fears, joys and soul searching of a young woman found expression in a steady flow of jour nal entries, poems and letters. Like the other women in her family, Amy was a writer. People of faith. Barry and Birdie Frinkaore confident their Amy has found that peace. Now the Shallottc couple are seeking peace and some sense of closure in their own lives as they reflect on both the unan swered questions surrounding Amy's violent death, and on her short, but sometimes turbulent life. "I'm inct wailinp for the nhone to J ? <7 - ? - r ring and someone to tell me they've made an anest," said Barry "That is what is lcr?T>tnci rr>?- onion " ~ ? r o o o It is the hope of Birdie Frink, Amy's mother, that one teenager's life might be turned around, or one soul saved because of their family's experiences. At 18, Amy Caroline Frink was a 102-pound complex bundle of vul nerable child and questioning wo man, full of life and energy, doubts and insecurities, emotional highs and lows. No saint, but rather a teenager who made and paid for her share of mistakes and sometimes feared she had disappointed the par ents she loved so dearly. "A pnnH vnnno'iin misrhievoiis 0 J *o ? ? ' but good." recalled her mother a week after Amy's funeral, smiling through hovering tcsrs. Like many parents, Barry and Birdie Frink have had differences of opinion about lifestyles with their daughters over the years. But through the ups and downs in their relationships, one thing has never faltered: Their steadfast love for each other, parents and children. Born prematurely, the youngest of their three daughter*. Amy was always tiny, delicate and so fair skinned she could never have the <Se? FAMILY, Page 2-A) AMY FR1NK, shown here be r i j * aiMt, jurr net grOmmtmmm ? ?#? wj from Southeastern Commu nity College 's Adult High School Diploma Program, had been "in some pretty rough spots, " but in past months had begun getting her life together and making plans . ? ST*?>HOTOS ?Y BMC OJQ.SOM Beauties And Brellas Undaunted by a little liquid sunshine, these crowned heads kept their smiles through Monday's N.C. Fourth of July festival parade and other Independence Day activities in Southport. At left is Miss Rlaclc Pear! r//ir?ioi Rmu/n- nt right it Miss North Carolina. Dana Stephenson of Garner, who made her first official appear ance at the festival since her recent coronation. More festival pho tos are inside this issue. Commssioners, School Board Talk Cordial But No Decision Reached BY SUSAN USHER Brunswick County commission ers and school board members talked about school system budget priorities and needs for nearly 1 'A hours Tuesday night at a joint meet ing that was the first step in the edu cation board's appeal of its SM.4 mil lion county allocation for day-to-day operation during the IW4-95 school year. School and county officials and Inside... Birthdays-:... 2R IliiMiH'ss News 7-XI) ( alendar (ill < hurt'li New s IK ( lassified l-'M ( 'rime Report UK ( ourt Docket M > Fishini! -51) ( .oil .,j.J D ( )hitoarie> I I < ( )pinion 4-5 \ People In I lie \r\?swI2( Plant Doctor JB I flu ision 4-5H an audiencc of approximately 60 people ? many of them wearing "CHILDREN FIRST" badges, left the meeting without any final word on whether the schools' allocation will be increased. While school officials might have preferred an immediate positive re sponse. school board Chairman Donna Baxter said she was satisfied. "We're willing to sit back and let them have some time to consider what they've heard, to consider our request." Board of Commissioners Chairman Don Warren adjourned the meeting at approximately 10 p.m., after a 15-minute recess during which members of the two boards conferred among themselves and with others informally. "The board's not ready to make a decision tonight to give them more money at this time," he said. "I think the commissioners and staff will be evaluating any additional informa tion we have received." "I don't know," Warren replied, when asked if there is a chance of commissioners increasing the school appropriation "We shall see. Here we go again." The joint meeting was the first step in a legal appeal that could lead to court-directed mediation, as re sulted last year, or a hearing and set tlement in Brunswick County Superior Court. In case commissioners choose not to increase their allocation, the school board has set a meeting today (Thursday) at 6 p.m. in the CP&L Visitors Center at Southport if it is available, to decide whether to con tinue its appeal to the next level. The school board has advised commissioners it doesn't believe the county's $9.4 million current ex pense allocation is enough to meet current obligations and continue programs at their existing levels, much less begin meeting other needs. In addition to continuing pro grams at their currcnt levels, Johnston asked commissioners to give the school board freedom to spent $360,000 allocated for equip ment based on overall needs, rather than a set $30,000 per school. "We have some schools that have greater needs than others," he said. While no agreement on the bud get was reached, after Tuesday's session Warren and school board of ficials said they were pleased with the boards' effort to communicate and to understand each other's posi tions. The overall tone of the meet ing was cordial, compared to the rancor apparent when the two boards met for the same purpose last July 23. "1 think we had some good con versation with the board of educa tion tonight. Some of the answers we received were pretty positive and some were not," said Warren. "I think we had more open dis cussion, a better exchange." Baxter reflected afterward. Superintendent of Schools Ralph Johnston agreed, encouraged by the commissioners' reception of his key points. Glen Peterson, attorney for the school board, said he was "most en couraged" by the focus on needs and priorities within the school system rather than on "personalities." "The questions commissioners asked this time were good questions, fair questions," he said. Most questions related to person nel changes within the central office and their effect on the budget, and a proposal to pull three talented teach ers from their classrooms for three year special assignments helping (See BOARDS, Pace 2-A) $6.000 REWARD OFFERED Murdered Teen Beaten, Stabbed, Run Over: Police BY ERIC CARLSON Amy Caroline Frink died a painfui. 'lingering death at the hands of a killer who remains on the loose, probably in Brunswick or Horry County, S.C. Evidence "strongly suggests" that the Shallotte teenager was sexually assaulted by the person or persons who killed her in the early morning hours of June 23, investigators said Tuesday. They say Frink, 18, was definitely beaten, stabbed repeatedly and run over with her car at least twice be fore she bled to death while lying beside an isolated dirt road just south of the state line. "Our precious daughter has died a cruel, horrible and needless death,** said a tearflif Birdie Fttnfc as sfie ana iici iiusuaiiu uaii)' fuCCd 2 prtc.1 conference in Calabash Tuesday af ternoon. She took over at the micro phone after Mr. Frink found himself too overcome with emotion to speak. **l appeal to anyone who has any type of information about this to please come forward. Please come forward," she said. "I beg you from the bottom of my heart to please come forward." Acting Horry County Police Chief Gerald Whitley announced that a reward of $6,000 has been of fered for information leading to the arrest and indictment of a suspect in the Frink murder case. The money has been made available jointly by CrimeStoppers telephone tip lines in both states. "We won't quit. I can promise you that," Whitley told the Frinks privately before addressing re porters. The Brunswick County Sheriff's Department and Horry County Police have formed a joint task force to investigate the Frink murder. Assisting the two local agencies are the N.C. State Bureau of Inves tigation (SBI), the S.C. State Law Enforcement Division (SLED), the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Shallotte Police Department. Detectives from Brunswick and Horry counties, working together in pairs, have conducted more than I hO interviews with Amy Frink 's friends ana associates, aiong witn residents of !h? Pinccrest/Shingletree area where her car was found and in the Brooksville community near what is believed to be the murder site. Although at least two names have been mentioned as suspects in the investigation, police said they were not close to making an arrest Tuesday. Information relating to the killing has been sent to the FBI's Behav ioral Sciences Laboratory in Quan tico, "v'a., in hopes of developing a psychological profile of the murder er. Police believe they already have enough evidence for a successful prosecution, once a suspect is identi fied. (Sec PLEASE, Page 2-A) Frink Wasn't First Wo man Reported Missing This Year BY ERIC CARLSON Could Amy Frink have been the victim of a serial killer? Investigators are not saying so publicly, but they have not ruled out the possibility Frink was murdered by the same person responsible for the disappearance of a 38-year-old South Carolina woman missing from the Seaside area since April. "We expect to run across her body somewhere,'' a detective said when asked about the probability of find ing Delores Shipp Melton alive. Mellon, also known by the nick name "Shorty," was last seen by friends at the High Tide nightclub shortly after midnight on the morn ing of April 16. She had stepped out into the parking lot with her boyfriend, who later told police that he went back into the bar for a mo ment and came out to find her gone. A bartender at the club told a deputy that he saw Melton get into a vehicle and leave with another man. She did not return to her home in Myrtle Beach the next morning and has not been seen or heard from since. Investigators say it is very doubt ful that Melton left the area inten tionally. Melton was the mother of a small child and had never missed a day of work in years. Like Frink, Melton was a short, blonde woman. Friends say she "liked to party." Both women are believed to have disappeared in the (See INVESTIGATOR, Page 2-A) Shallotte Printer Serving Federal Term For Passing Counterfeit Bills BY SUSAN USHER A Shallotte man is serving a 12-month sentence in the federal penitentiary at Butner for passing counterfeit dollars of his own making. Paul Wayne Miller, 51, a former local printer, has served one-fourth of his term. He is scheduled for re lease March 13, 1W5, from Burner's minimum security section called "The Camp." where he works as an order ly Miller was never indicted, nor was he arrested prior to his appearance in U.S. District Court. l-ast October de fense attorney Ciale Adams reached an agreement with prosecutors similar to a plea bargain. A "ciimiiuu mation" was entered in court in which Miller was charged by the basicrn District U.S. Attorney's Office with a single count of "possessing, passing and uttering" counterfeit federal reserve notes in $5. $10. $20 and $ 1(N) denominations, a violation of the U.S. Code. Miller was not charged with manufacture of countcr fcil notes because it would have made little difference in judgment urder standard federal sentencing guidelines, said U.S. ,?ecret Service Agent Michael Casper of Wilmington, who investigated the case. However, Miller's printing of at least S5.MX) in four denomina tions of bills was considered as an aggravating factor in sentencing, adding slightly to the severity of his sen tence. "It appeared to be a one-person activity from what we can tell," said Casper "He was just trying to get some money ? buying small items and getting cash in change, then going to the next store. Typical pavsing-type activi ty " II S. District Judge W. Earl Britt imposed judgment Jan. 3 in fedcra! district court in Raleigh Miller reported to Butner March 1 5. At the end of his 12-month active sentence Miller will remain under supervised release for 36 months. He has paid a $50 special assessment, ami will be paying a $1,700 fine in installments. The standard minimum fine of $3,000 was reduced because of inability to pay. Casper said the counterfeit bills were tracked to Miller after he made the mistake of trying to pass a bill at a Shallottc grocery store in January 1993. A sharp eyed clerk there caught the fake and called Shallottc Police Department, which routinely turned the bill over to the U.S. Secret Service for investigation. "They didn't know we were already investigating." said Casper. "Most counterfeiters don't pass bills in their own backyard." ? i _?! ? i r.i. ? l *(? ? _ u j l, lUCIIIICUl I4KCU Mill* III V*iJ lllg uvaiumiiiMiSCnS K* gun showing up in the Charlotte area starting Dec. 14, 1992 "He had been printing four bills to a sheet of paper," said Casper. "We figure he manufactured probably a lit tle over $5.(NX). That's the minimum amount that could have been manufactured based on the bills that were passed and the total sheet value. He admits to destroying some and there were some scraps." Casper said Miller had been working part-time "for an innocent individual who was totally cooperative with our investigation." "He was employed as a printer. He had a key, so he could get in at night and had access to the equipment when no one else was there and counterfeiting supplies are relatively easy to get." On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 the highest, Casper rat ed Miller's counterfeit bills as "about a 5 or a 6 ? pass able. but not so good a teller at Food Lion couldn't inter (vnl it ** Starting Feb. 6, 1995, Miller will be eligible for elec tronic home confinement for the last 10 percent of his sentence. Miller could have received up to 18 months imprison ment, two to three years supervised release and a fine of $3,000 to $30,000.