A Davidson County father is pleading for answers about how his daughter ended up dead in a burned car in west Tennessee.

Family members described 33-year-old Samantha Dial Hankins as a vibrant young woman known for filling a room with her personality.

"I don't care what kind of mood you're in, Samantha got you out of it," Kimberly Cherry, her aunt said.

What they can't get out of their minds is how she died.

"This is a heinous thing they've done to her and to the person that was with her. It's not just our family suffering this loss," Cherry said.

A road trip starting in Kentucky with a good friend stopped short in Dyer County. Police discovered them in a burned car on February 2.

"We miss her so much," Johnny Dial, her father said.

Dial is beside himself wondering who took his daughter's life and why. She leaves behind four children.

"We see this kind of thing on TV and you never think it would happen to you, you know, but wow, it does," Dial said.

The TBI is trying to find out who owns the Lotto Sport Italia sweatshirt collected at the scene and if they know something.

They also want to know about anyone who may have unexplained burns or injuries.

"Just one little word might help the TBI," Betty Dial, her grandmother said.

That's all the family said it could take to crack the case. It would give them peace and some closure about Dial Hankins' brutal death.

"We're not going to give up. We're not going to slow down on this. This is my baby," Dial said.

The Tennessee Advisory Committee on Arson and the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance are offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the individual(s) responsible.

Anyone with information concerning the incident should contact the TBI at 1 (800) TBI-FIND or the Tennessee Arson Hotline at 1 (800) 762-3017.

Copyright 2019 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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