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Joanne Benner

Missing Person Case September 2021

Missing Person Case September 2021

Joanne, approximately 1976

Date reported missing : 05/01/1976

Missing location (approx) :
Bayou George, Florida
Missing classification : Endangered Missing
Gender : Female
Ethnicity :

DOB : 07/19/1954 (67)
Age at the time of disappearance: 21 years old
Height / Weight : 5'7, 200 pounds
Distinguishing characteristics, birthmarks, tattoos : Caucasian female. Brown hair, green eyes. Joanne fractured her femur in a car accident months before her disappearance.

Information on the case from local sources, may or may not be correct : Joanne was last seen at her residence on Titus Road in Bayou George, Florida on May 1, 1976. Her husband, Gary Benner, said she left in the middle of the night and never returned. She has never been heard from again. Her three-year-old daughter allegedly told a relative that "Mommy had to go away because she was bleeding from the stomach."
Gary always insisted his wife left him of her own accord, but he is the prime suspect in Joanne's disappearance. Authorities stated he behaved suspiciously after she went missing, and the couple argued constantly in their marriAge at the time of disappearance: .
When investigators searched the Benner residence, they saw what appeared to be blood in several places of the house. Gary told police the stains were nail polish and that Joanne had flung menstrual blood at him during an argument. Some carpeting was Missing location (approx) : the bedroom and was later found burned in a trash can. After Joanne's disappearance, Gary asked friends to mail letters and toys to his children pretending to be Joanne.
Investigators obtained blood evidence from the Benner home, as well as the burned carpet and some of Gary's guns. DNA testing was not available in 1976, so they were unable to match the blood to Joanne at that time. In 2008, authorities tried to have some of the evidence analyzed, but it was too old and degraded. The investigation has been stalled since then.
Gary has never been charged in connection with Joanne's case, but police stated they believed he murdered Joanne and buried her body somewhere in the area. He now lives in Tennessee. He placed his youngest daughter for adoption, but kept the older one. Joanne's disappearance remains unsolved.

Other information and links : ncy

Bay County Sheriff's Office

September 2021 updates and sources

The Doe Network
The News Herald
Bay County Sheriff's Office
Unsolved in the News

6 October 12, 2004. August 10, 2010; DOB : , Height / Weight : added, Distinguishing characteristics, birthmarks, tattoos : updated.

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