Monday, December 18, 2017

Court Should Delay Issuing Death Certificate

A Petition for Presumption of Death in the disappearance of Benedetta (Beth) Bentley has apparently been filed in the McHenry County Circuit Court. It seems to be part of the probate filing on August 28 in Case No. 17PR000295.

Burned human remains were found on December 4th in Jefferson County, Ill. by the Illinois State Police, and the Woodstock (Ill.) Police Department has referred to the Beth Bentley in a press release about the ISP finding. In my opinion, it is unusual for police to refer to any particular missing-person case after remains are found, in the absence of positive identification.

The location at which the burned human remains were found may have something to do with the decision at the Woodstock Police Department to report a possible connection to Beth Bentley, who reportedly failed to return to Woodstock on May 24, 2010 from a week-end jaunt to the Mt. Vernon, Ill. area.

It may be possible to determine whose remains have been found through DNA testing.

The next court date for the probate filing is this Thursday, December 21, 9:30AM, in Judge Chmiel's courtroom, Room 202, 2200 N. Seminary, Woodstock. The hearing should be open to the public. Hopefully, reporters will be there.

If Judge Chmiel has not already granted the Petition, he should delay it until the remains have been identified. If they turn out to be those of Beth Bentley, then an investigation into the cause and manner of her death must be intensified.

Finding these remains seven-and-one-half years after her disappearance cannot be the result of coincidence. The State Police didn't just "happen" upon them. Once the location is disclosed, one big question may be "Why wasn't that location searched then?"

If the remains were found on December 4 as a result of new information or a tip, the source of the information should be protected. It has been my opinion for more than seven years that a number of people know exactly what happened to Beth. If one of them is talking now, the others won't be happy about it.

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