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Former NFL Player Barry Bennett Found Dead with Wife, Police Hunt for Son

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Minnesota authorities are searching for a suspect in the death of the man’s adopted parents, including a retired NFL player, according to multiple reports.

Sources told KMSP that Barry and Carol Bennett were found dead in their rural Minnesota home after police were called to perform a wellness check. “We’re told a friend was concerned after they had not returned any calls or texts since Tuesday,” the outlet reported.

The Todd County Sheriff Office did not immediately identify the victims, though multiple outlets confirmed who they were.

Barry Bennett, 63, a former defensive lineman, played in the NFL from 1978 to 1988 for the New Orleans Saints, New York Jets and Minnesota Vikings.

“We are saddened by the tragic loss of former Vikings player Barry Bennett and his wife, Carol,” the Vikings said in a statement posted to Twitter. “Our thoughts are with their friends and family during this difficult time.”

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“The Todd County Sheriff’s Office says officers are looking for 22-year-old Dylan Bennett,” WCCO reported. “He is believed to be driving a blue 2018 Hyundai Santa Fe with the license plate: BCK487.”

Dylan Bennett was the adopted son of Barry and Carol.

In addition to the sheriff’s office, the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is looking into the case, according to The Jamestown Sun. The FBI was also reportedly called in to assist.

As of early Friday afternoon, authorities said they had found the car they thought Dylan Bennett was driving, though they did not say where it was.

Dylan Bennett was his adopted parents’ youngest son, neighbors said.

“Carol and Barry, after their first four, they had a few years and they adopted their last two. They just had more love to give,” neighbor Darcy Pesta, who says she lived next door to the Bennetts’ Long Prairie home for more than 20 years, told WCCO.

“They were just … we couldn’t ask for anything more for neighbors … our friends,” Pesta said.

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Though Barry Bennett was a former longtime NFL player, he eventually became a high school teacher and coach before retiring for good.

“It hit hard this morning,” Jon Kringen, superintendent for the Long Prairie Grey Eagle School District, told the Minneapolis Star Tribune. “Everyone was in shock when they heard. It’s impossible to comprehend that this could happen. People are lost for understanding.”

“He and his wife were good people.”

Barry Bennett never bragged about his NFL career, though he answered questions about it if asked, Kringen said.

“I think Barry saw that as one part of his life,” he told the Star Tribune. “But if he was asked, he would share stories.”

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Joe Setyon was a deputy managing editor for The Western Journal who had spent his entire professional career in editing and reporting. He previously worked in Washington, D.C., as an assistant editor/reporter for Reason magazine.
Joe Setyon was deputy managing editor for The Western Journal with several years of copy editing and reporting experience. He graduated with a degree in communication studies from Grove City College, where he served as managing editor of the student-run newspaper. Joe previously worked as an assistant editor/reporter for Reason magazine, a libertarian publication in Washington, D.C., where he covered politics and wrote about government waste and abuse.
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