University of Indianapolis investigating human remains thought to be linked to Woodstock woman's disappearance

WOODSTOCK – Human remains thought to be linked to the 2010 disappearance of Woodstock woman
Benedetta “Beth” Bentley are being reviewed by forensic anthropologists at the University of Indianapolis, officials said.

A team of anthropologists has cleaned a set of human remains found last year in Jefferson County, and it now must try to extract a DNA sample to identify the body, Jefferson County Coroner Roger Hayse said Tuesday.

Reached by phone Tuesday, Beth’s husband, Scott Bentley, said he did not have any new information about the investigation, which is being conducted by Illinois State Police.

Police discovered severely burned human remains and other evidence Dec. 4 in Jefferson County and have been trying to identify the victim since.

Authorities have not specified where the remains were found or why they are believed to be linked to Beth Bentley’s disappearance.

Jefferson County State’s Attorney Sean Featherstun and representatives from the District 13 Illinois State Police Headquarters did not return multiple phone calls seeking comment about the investigation or whether any charges are expected.

The Jefferson County Coroner’s Office has had limited involvement with the investigation while the remains are in Indiana, Hayes said.

Beth Bentley, then 41, disappeared May 23, 2010, after a weekend trip to Mount Vernon with her friend, Jennifer Wyatt-Paplham.

Wyatt-Paplham was charged in March 2012 with obstructing justice related to Beth Bentley’s disappearance. A judge dismissed the charges later that year.

Wyatt-Paplham initially told police she dropped off Bentley at an Amtrak station in Centralia, where she was expected to take a train back to her Woodstock home, but she never returned, police said.

In December, McHenry County Judge Michael Chmiel granted Bentley’s family’s request to have her presumed dead.

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