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Fire ignites murder mystery after young Tacoma woman’s body found in flames

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UNIVERSITY PLACE — It was springtime almost nine years ago when a young Tacoma woman was murdered inside her apartment.

Now, Pierce County detectives are hoping you can help find her killer.

“I was only 17 when she was born. She always joked that she thought she did a good job raising me.” Nellie Hill recalls about her only daughter, 20 year old Beverley Ann Steward-Hill. “We were best friends. Far more than mother and daughter. We were best friends.”

In the early morning hours of June 24th, 2006 a call came into 911 that an apartment complex was on fire. “There was a total of 36 apartments evacuated that morning and they sustained heavy damage,” Pierce County Det. John Jimenez says.

But the fire started inside Beverley’s apartment and detectives believe that was no accident. Jimenez adds, “Based on the evidence of the crime scene there were things in there that told us it was a staged event.” One that left more questions than answers Jimenez says, “The cause of her death is undetermined.”

Investigators say Beverley had no criminal background and believe she was killed by someone she knew.

Her mom just wants to know why, “There’s the lack of answers. Not having resolution, not knowing what happened, not knowing how she died, why she died, there’s no closure.”

One thing they do know is the hunt for Beverley’s killer isn’t over. Det. Jimenez says, “We have not given up on this case.”

And Nellie isn’t about to stop looking for her daughter’s killers saying, “I won’t give up until I have answers. I need to know. I need to know what happened.”

Crime Stoppers of Tacoma-Pierce County is offering a $10,000 reward for information that leads investigators to Beverley's killer. You must to call the Crime Stoppers hotline to claim the reward at: 1-800-222-TIPS

You must call the Crime Stoppers hotline with your tip to be eligible to receive a cash reward for information leading to a fugitive’s arrest.

CLICK HERE for information on how to TEXT A TIP to Crime Stoppers.