It has been 13 1/2 weeks since Beth Bentley vanished, presumably from the Mt. Vernon, Ill. area.
Why do I say "presumably"? Because the Southern Illinois story continues to fall apart.
Beth's photo is shown on an ABC-TV/7 webpage with an undated caption, reading "Missing Bennedetta Bentley, 41, of Woodstock, missing since Sunday May 23 from Centralia, Ill." Sort of makes me wonder where TV-7 is getting its information.
I recall reading how someone, supposedly in the know because of a family relationship with a Woodstock friend of the Bentley family, wrote on Facebook with great certainty that "LE" (law enforcement; meaning the Mt. Vernon P.D.) had videotapes (or more likely, digital recordings) of the Friday night, May 21, when Beth, Jenn Wyatt, Ryan Ridge and a young man under age 21 who has not yet been identified publicly) had dinner and drinks in the Frosty Mug in Mt. Vernon.
As of about a week ago, a local person was told that the Mt. Vernon P.D. does not have any such videotapes. Actually, only three organizations would know - the owner or manager of the Frosty Mug; the Mt. Vernon P.D.; the Woodstock P.D.
About a week ago a man told a Woodstock resident, who had one of the missing-person fliers out in the open in her home, that he had had a "date" with Beth since May 23. That's man's comment was spontaneous and unsolicited, after he saw Beth's photo on the flier.
And then I was told that Beth had called a family member on August 14.
The Woodstock Police have all this information. Any tips, even rumors, need to be reported to the police, so that they will have as many pieces to the puzzle as possible. If a piece doesn't fit or is to a different puzzle, the police can discard it. But the police need all information.
In the meantime the Woodstock Police have nothing to say. Is there something that they could say about their progress in the investigation of her disappearance? Are they really still investigating it?