Facebook reports nearly 60,000 people talking about and searching for the name Amanda Strous. The death of Amanda has raised more questions than ever since the 27-year-old Strous was allegedly murdered by a man who sought to cover up the death of the North Carolina college counselor in a fire. Strous was scheduled to marry her fiancé, Corey McCleaf, in July, reports People. However, the Nye County Sheriff’s Office reported that Charlotte firefighters responded to a suspicious fire on Saturday morning.
Strous was pronounced dead after the fire, but the fire itself isn’t being blamed for Amanda’s death. Instead 28-year-old Matthew Thomas Benner was arrested for Amanda’s death — and the fire is being viewed as one set in order to try and cover up Strous’ real cause of death. Benner made a confession to authorities, claiming that Matthew did indeed kill Amanda.
Discovered sleeping in his truck, Benner was found by cops who used Matthew’s smartphone GPS to find him at a Best Western hotel in Nye County, Nevada. Facing charges of murder and first-degree arson, Benner and his confession to murder make people wonder why he would commit such a heinous crime.
Amanda was remembered by family and friends, some of whom said they could not imagine a world without Strous, reports ABC News. It isn’t known if Amanda knew Matthew at all, nor why some of Strous’ things were found inside the apartment of Benner. However, Amanda’s parents and friends and fiancé are reeling over the fact that they now must celebrate Amanda’s short life via a funeral, instead of watching Strous embark on her new marriage via her planned July wedding.
Although authorities did report that Matthew had confessed to killing Amanda, cops have not yet released a potential motive for Strous’ killing. Amanda’s dad, Eric Strous, said that Amanda made him a better father, man, and husband. Strous called his daughter the light of his life. Amanda’s mother, Crystal Strous, shared similar sentiments.
What is known is that Strous was alone in her apartment writing thank-you notes for her bridal shower gifts and at some point, Amanda became a murder victim. Corey was not in town when Strous was killed.
Meanwhile, Amanda was remembered at a vigil on Monday evening by loved ones, reports the York Daily Record.
At the home of Amanda’s mom and dad, those that loved Strous gathered and shared stories about Amanda. One of those stories included how Strous had to write her own obituary as part of a class assignment. Thinking that she wouldn’t have to read the obituary for years to come, Amanda’s mom read from the words that her daughter wrote about how her faith led her in life.
“I really like the idea of God’s beauty defining me and working through me to show other people the good that comes from him.”
Amanda’s beautiful Facebook photos prove Strous’ excitement over getting engaged.
Only six months ago, Strous posted the above engagement photo to her Facebook page. Now Amanda’s death has folks reacting in a myriad of ways on social media.
Folks like Facebook user Knoah Wan commented on the photo of Amanda’s killer on Facebook.
“She is from my local area, this is such a shame. She was still alive when fire fighters took her out. I hope they burn him alive in prison.”
Others on Facebook shared similar thoughts.
“Thank God he is behind bars.
“I know the victim’s family is grateful. Hopefully the justice system works quickly, and without error.
“I was just reading the story about this cat. Murdered a woman who was set to get married next month. Then lit her apartment on fire. What a piece of trash.”
[Image via Nye County Sheriff’s Office]