Sunday, February 23, 2014

Beth Bentley - gone 196 weeks

On February 12th the Woodstock (Ill.) Police Department issued an updated press release related to Beth Bentley, who has now been missing for 196 weeks.

To view that press release, go to
Hover over City Departments
Hover over Police
Click on Press Releases/Crime Alerts

To see the new press release, click on Missing Person - Beth Bentley - 02-12-14
Then click on the link to the .pdf version

That press release had been published on February 12, a date that would have been Beth's 45th birthday. For whatever reason, it was buried behind a "See all items" link which, as I pointed out to the City, would be a place where one would expect to see older items, not new ones. Thanks to the P.D. to moving the current items to the front page of the press releases.

And now there are two press releases on this P.D. page, because an old one was re-published with a new date (probably so that they could force it to this page). The old 11/11/2010 press release, listing Beth as a "Missing Adult - Endangered" was re-dated to February 21, 2014. It contains the original wording, without any updating to remove erroneous or obsolete information. The original Missing Person press release has not been visible since November 2010.

Obsolete information? For example, there is no longer a "Woodstock CRIMESTOPPERS". That long-time organization (Woodstock Area Crime Stoppers, Inc.) was allowed to dissolve involuntarily on June 14, 2013, by the last batch of officers and board of directors/trustees. Because it is out of business, there is a question as to the second "up to $1,000" reward.

Somebody knows where Beth is. Now the information is worth only "up to $1,000". In actuality, the pay-out might only be the average Crime Stoppers of McHenry County pay-out of $300.00. And that's hardly enough for someone to spill the beans and tell investigators where to look. Would a person coming forward now, 3½ years after Beth vanished, have to be fearful for her own safety and that of family members?

Woodstock Police revealed in its February 12, 2014, press release that Beth's status as an Endangered Missing Person was because of "... the result of her purported prescription and illegal drug use while she was visiting the Mt. Vernon and Jefferson County area of southern Illinois."

Woodstock Police elevated Beth from a Missing Person to a Missing Adult - Endangered" on about 11/11/2010 but refused to say why at the time. Only now, 3+ years later, do they reveal "purported ... illegal drug use."

The statement is vague. Do Police mean on the week-end of May 20-23, 2010? Or on that and other times in southern Illinois? Or just on a previous trip(s)?

In what way, if at all, was such "purported" use of illegal drugs connected to her missing status? Was there some partying going on? Did Beth OD? Did those who were with her panic and dispose of her body?

The McHenry County State's Attorney Office is currently prosecuting a different case that involves Concealment of a Homicidal Death. Is there an Illinois statute for Concealment of an Accidental or Drug-Related Death? I can think of at least three people who might be sweating a little, now that police have admitted to the likelihood of illegal drugs in this case.

What if there was a $25,000 or $50,000 reward? Would that loosen some lips? Right now, the reward may be only $1,000, and who really knows if that is still valid? I believe I'll ask.

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