New leads have developed in a Pottawatomie County homicide investigation from 2001 and now the father and sister the victim are pleading with anyone with more information to come forward in that case.
New leads have developed in a Pottawatomie County homicide investigation from 2001 and now the father and sister of the victim are pleading with anyone with more information to come forward in that case.
Dustin James Bench was 22 when he was reported missing in Tecumseh in 2001. In 2008, a skull and other bones were found by mushroom hunters in the Earlsboro area and they were positively identified through DNA in 2009, allowing his family to hold funeral services and give him a final resting place.
But his family, including his father, James, and sister, Jamie Gonzalez, know Dustin's killer is still out there and say Dustin deserves justice.
Both met with Sheriff Mike Booth, Undersherff Travis Palmer and Lt. Robert Stewart in Shawnee Friday afternoon after new leads developed in the cold case earlier this week.
James Bench, in a soft spoken voice, talked about his son and the case and said the last 15 years have been difficult.
“Every day, you remember it,” he said, adding that he often turns around and thinks his son will be there.
“I don't think that will ever go away,” he said. “I won't rest until it is solved.”
Dustin's sister, who was just 10 years old when she saw her brother for the last time, remembers her brother as being “hilarious,” she said, adding that they always fought over the TV remote. Losing her brother at a young age was difficult, but now that's she an adult with an 8-month-old daughter of her own, she misses her brother even more and wishes he could meet his niece.
Anyone with information about this case can call the sheriff's office, 405-275-2526, ext. 111. Gonzalez also has set up an email address at firstname.lastname@example.org
Watch for more on this story later today and in Saturday's News-Star.