Wednesday, June 30, 2010

What is the Beth Story?

Beth Bentley, 41, disappeared on Sunday, May 23. That's more than five weeks ago.

She was reported missing on Monday, May 24. It is claimed that she called home about 4:15PM on Sunday. After that? Nothing. No contact. No phone calls. No text messages. No use of her credit cards. No ATM withdrawals. No use of her cell phone. (Who did she talk to at 4:15PM?)

At least, that is what has been said.

The position of the Woodstock Police Department seems to be "No foul play." No evidence of foul play. No evidence of foul play. Is the absence of evidence possibly evidence of suspected foul play?

What are the possibilities?

She ran away, voluntarily. OK, what's she doing for money and transportation? Is any money missing? From any source to which she had access? The police and the family aren't saying.

Did she go to Centralia late Sunday afternoon and get out of a car near the Amtrak station? One person says so. And that person says it wasn't to take a train (read, not to take the 6:08PM train to Chicago, where a late connection could be made for the Metra to Woodstock, scheduled to arrive at 2:01AM Monday).

If she was in Centralia, how was she going to get back to the Woodstock area and meet up with her traveling friend and the rental car?

What, exactly, were Beth's movements after arriving in the Mt. Vernon area early on Friday morning? Are all the restaurants, grocery stores, liquor stores, bars, nail salons being checked?

Beth, Jenn, Ryan and a second man were seen having dinner and drinks in the Frosty Mug in Mt. Vernon on Friday night? Have all the employees at the Frosty Mug been interviewed?

Reportedly a boat was rented on Rend Lake on Saturday, but no one seems to know much about that. Who knows about that?

Why have there been no searches organized by law enforcement? The Woodstock Police Department is the lead agency investigating Beth's disappearance, but it is 330 miles from Mt. Vernon.

There are more than 6,700 "Friends" on the Facebook page set up to follow Beth's disappearance. For some reason, right now the Friends or Fans section is not visible on Facebook. Hopefully, it will be restored.

There is almost a lack of urgency locally about finding Beth; at least, that's how it seems to a number of people. There are no frequent press conferences. There is little or nothing in the local papers. Do the police or the family know something about her whereabouts or missing status that precludes a high sense of urgency about searching for and finding her?

The public can help and will help.


Ray said...

Hey what ever came of that issue about an officer asking Dairy Qween to take down the missing persons poster?

Gus said...

Nothing. I think they know at MCSD which deputy was there.

One possibility is miscommunication between the deputy and the DQ employee. He may have been expressing a personal opinion about the likelihood of Beth's being found alive.

Independent Voter said...

Why don't you contact Fox News or something?
Start reaching out to the Chicago networks. Tell the story. If someone I cared about was missing that is what I would do.
WPD can't do anything from here. If she was murdered, it wasn't here. You said it yourself 330 miles away.
It's out of the Woodstock Advocates jurisdiction. Call someone bigger.

John Lovaas said...

From the June 2 Mt. Vernon Register-Star:

“...We saw information on our Facebook page, and contacted the Woodstock Police,” (Mt. Vernon Police Chief Chris) Mendenall said. “We contacted the investigator in Woodstock, and the Illinois State Police are now heading the investigation in this area.”Mendenall said...”

Gus said...

When I asked Woodstock Police Chief Lowen for contact information for the lead investigatory agency in the Beth Bentley missing-person case, for anyone elsewhere in the State of Illinois to provide tips, on May 28 he provided me with Det. Sgt. Kurt Rosenquist's name.

Mt. Vernon Chief Mendenall thinks the State Police are, at least in his area.

Can't be both ways...

John Lovaas said...

There's a law enforcement term that comes to mind- multi-jurisdictional investigation. You know, it is possible, in a multi-jurisdictional investigation, to have one telephone number(and individual) as a single point of contact and reference for the public. And, since it is a multi-jurisdictional investigation, that individual could be employed by any one of those agencies.

It is no longer necessary for criminal investigators to gather, en masse, in a smoke-filled room each morning, to hash out details about the ongoing investigatio on a blackboard, all the while cracking jokes and referring to each other with colorful nicknames.

In the movies- of course! It makes for compelling imagery. But not in reality.

In addition, it is neither useful or necessary for law enforcement to discuss an ongoing investigation with anyone outside of their offices. Law enforcement discusses case details with the public only when they feel it is useful and necessary.

Ongoing investigations are not reality shows to stuff down soap opera fan's gullets.

Gus said...

John, thanks for your excellent comment!

There are too many "LE told me so" comments on Facebook. Knowing WPD as I do, I seriously doubt that Chief Lowen or Det. Sgt. Rosenquist is telling anyone that certain people have been "ruled out" or that something is "confirmed". They are just not going to do that.

Ann said...

Question RE:
"Reportedly a boat was rented on Rend Lake on Saturday, but no one seems to know much about that. Who knows about that?"

Did anyone metion where they rented the boat from? I live almost on the Lake and there are only two places to chose from.

Because it was on Sat. and she vanished on Sun, it may not seem important to some. But it is to me, because I am still not covinced of of any of the previously theories to date. Also, it may at some point be vital to know thins info for search puposes.

Thank you for your commitment to keeping this alive!

Gus said...

Thanks, Ann. In my opinion, the Rend Lake boat rental is a red herring. Supposedly, two other males accompanied Beth, Jenn, Ryan and another male, possibly Nathan, but nothing official has ever been stated. And none of the three has publicly ID'ed the other two men. So maybe there never was a boat rental.

Plus, it's "iffy" that she disappeared on Sunday. Maybe on Saturday. Maybe Friday night, if she really was even in Mt. Vernon on Friday night (or at all).