Who Was Beverly Carter?

October 2, 2014

The day Beverly Carter disappeared after meeting a supposed prospective buyer at a vacant home in rural Scott, Ark., will be remembered by REALTORS® around the nation as a horrible one — a day when the real estate industry lost a star in its constellation.

But Susan Vaught chooses to remember what was good about that day — a day full of joy for Carter, 49, who was expecting to have one of her grandchildren visit for the weekend. It was around 3:30 p.m. last Thursday, just hours before Carter's fateful showing, when she and Vaught, whose offices were side-by-side at brokerage Crye-Leike's North Little Rock branch, were talking about family.

"She was talking about how excited she was," recalls Vaught, executive broker of Carter's Crye-Leike office. "Her grandchildren were the highlight of her life. … It was a happy day. [Carter] had won $100 at an open house raffle — it was just a good day."

REALTOR® Magazine spoke to people who knew Carter best and learned more about the woman who has captivated the real estate world since her tragic disappearance and death. Read more about what made Carter "a landmark" in the industry at our Speaking of Real Estate blog.

The Latest News in the Beverly Carter Case

Arron Lewis, 33, the man who faces charges of kidnapping and killing Carter, told reporters that he abducted the Arkansas real estate agent because she was alone and had money.

Lewis has been charged with kidnapping, robbery, and capital murder in connection with the death of Carter, who went missing Sept. 25. Carter's husband later reported her missing after not hearing from her and visiting the property she was showing, where he found Carter's car still parked and the door to the home left open.

As a massive search for Carter ensued, police arrested Lewis on Monday. Police say that he admitted to kidnapping Carter at the time but refused to reveal her whereabouts. Police discovered Carter's body Tuesday morning in a shallow grave at an Arkansas concrete company about 25 miles outside of Little Rock.

In court Tuesday, Lewis said he killed Carter because she was a "rich broker." He told the court that he initially wanted to plead guilty but then changed his plea.

"I just want this all over with," he said. He told the court he would not plead guilty to capital murder.

Carter's death happened at the end of REALTOR® Safety Month, a campaign by REALTOR® associations every September to shed light on the dangers that lurk in the real estate profession.

"My heart goes out to her family, her friends, her co-workers, and everyone whose life Beverly touched in her 49 years with us," NAR 2014 President-Elect Chris Polychron said in a statement earlier this week. "Working in real estate involves risk, and, unfortunately, that risk takes many forms. As an industry, we collectively work very hard to promote safety awareness among our members. We are fully committed to educating REALTORS® about potential threats and providing them with resources to protect themselves. I urge all REALTORS® to honor Beverly Carter by keeping safe and looking out for each other."

View safety resources for real estate professionals at REALTOR.org.

Source: “Man Charged in Death of Arkansas Real Estate Agent,” NBC News (Sept. 30, 2014) and “Real Estate Agent’s Kidnapper: She was Rich and Alone,” New York Post (Sept. 30, 2014)