Lifestyle & Human Interest

Police Identify Body of Missing Mother Who Vanished 9 Years Ago


The remains of an Illinois mom have finally been identified 9 years after she went missing.

Benedetta “Beth” Bentley, then 41, went missing on May 23, 2010, after a friend, Jenn Wyatt, allegedly dropped her off near an Amtrak station in Centralia, Illinois.

According to the Chicago Tribune, Bentley told her friends and family that she was taking a weekend trip to Wisconsin to visit with Wyatt’s family.

But instead, the two women spent the weekend at the lake in Mount Vernon, Illinois, where they met up with Wyatt’s boyfriend and other friends.

Illinois State Police said in a news release that Wyatt took the mother of three to the Amtrak station so she could return to her home in Woodstock.

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Her missing persons report said that she never got on the train, however.

She never returned home and, for 9 years, her case remained unsolved.

Benedetta “Beth” Bentley went missing on May 23, 2010, after a friend allegedly dropped her off near an Amtrak Station in Centralia, Illinois. (Illinois State Police)

Wyatt was charged with obstruction of justice in 2012, but according to Fox News, the charges were dropped only a few months later.

On Dec. 4, 2017, authorities found badly burned human remains in a rural area in Jefferson County, near where Bentley was last seen.

Then on Tuesday, Illinois State Police announced they’d been able to positively identify the remains as Bentley’s.

No other details about the remains have yet been released.

“They need to be very prudent and methodical in information that they release so they can protect a potential or possible prosecution,” Woodstock Police Chief John Lieb told the Tribune.

Flo McConkey, who helped search for Bentley’s remains, said even though the positive ID brings closure, she mourns the fact that Bentley’s three sons can no longer hold out hope their mom is alive.

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“This is closure for them, yes, but I feel like her boys probably had some hope out there somewhere,” she said. “You would have a glimmer of hope that your mom is still alive. Now her sons … have to face the fact that someone murdered their mother.”

“My heart breaks for them. I wish we could have found her when we were looking.”

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Kayla has been a staff writer for The Western Journal since 2018.
Kayla Kunkel began writing for The Western Journal in 2018.
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