It has been nearly two years since human remains were discovered in Jefferson County, a rural area in Illinois.
On Tuesday, the Illinois State Police identified the remains as those of Benedetta “Beth” Bentley, a 41-year-old married mother of three boys who went missing on May 23, 2010.
“[A] friend reportedly dropped off Beth Bentley at an Amtrak Station in Centralia, Illinois. Bentley was reportedly taking a train back to her home located in Woodstock, Illinois,” says a statement released by the Illinois State Police. “Bentley did not return home and was reported missing.”
Initially, Bentley told her family and friends that she was leaving for the weekend and heading to Wisconsin with her friend Jenn Wyatt. Instead, the pair went to Mount Vernon, Illinois, where they met up with Wyatt’s boyfriend and friends while eating and drinking at a lake for the weekend, according to Wyatt, who spoke to the Chicago Tribune in 2011.
Wyatt told the paper she dropped off her friend at the train station, but law enforcement said she never boarded. When she didn’t return home, her husband called Wyatt and demanded to know the truth.
When the newspaper reached out to her husband about the recent developments, he wrote in an email, “Due to the ongoing investigation, I am not at liberty to comment at this time.”
The Illinois State Police and the Woodstock Police Department renewed their investigation. On Dec. 4, 2017, the badly burned remains now identified as Bentley’s were “found in a rural area close to where Bentley was last seen,” the paper reported.
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Flo McConkey, who helped search for the remains, said she felt bad for her three sons who no longer have hope that their mother may still be alive.
“Now her sons … have to face the fact that someone murdered their mother,” McClonkey said. “My heart breaks for them. I wish we could have found her when we were looking.”
Law enforcement have turned over their evidence to the Jefferson County state’s attorney’s office for review, reported the Chicago Tribune.