One year later, a Conover family is pushing for justice after woman killed by husband

Tinikia Hodges was allegedly shot by her husband on May 5, 2022.
Conover Police believe Tinikia Hodges' husband shot and killed her last May.
Published: May. 5, 2023 at 4:57 PM EDT
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CATAWBA COUNTY, N.C. (WBTV) - One year after the murder of Tinikia Hodges, her family is still praying for an arrest.

Conover Police believe Hodges was shot and killed by her husband, Donald, on May 5, 2022.

“It’s hard. It’s just hard,” Tinikia’s mom, Diane Bender, who found her daughter’s body, said.

“I miss that smile. She had a beautiful smile,” her stepdad, Bobbie Bender, added.

Beyond grief and sadness, her family said they also have a deep longing for justice.

“We don’t need him out there doing this to anybody else,” Diane said. “So I’m just asking you, Donald, to give yourself up.”

The U.S. Marshals Office said Friday that Donald Hodges is personable, manipulative, and they’re still working to find him.

A spokesperson said their latest lead was around early April, when they found Hodges’ car in a scrapyard in Rowan County.

They added that Hodges may have been on dating apps to ‘use’ women, and warned people to keep an eye out.

In the meantime, Tinikia’s family is pushing for an arrest.

“Oh yeah, I feel like we’d be able to sleep more at night and... [she’d be] able to rest, because I know she’s not resting,” Tinikia’s goddaughter, Fantasia Lineberger, said.

“Sooner or later, son, it’s going to catch up with you,” Bobbie Bender said.

“We need closure, we need peace,” another family member said. “She needs peace.”

The U.S. Marshals Office is still offering a $10,000 reward. The family is adding $5,000 for a combined $15,0000 award for any information leading to Donald’s arrest.

Related: ‘Turn yourself in:’ U.S. Marshals offering up to $10k reward for info on Conover murder suspect