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Bennett was last seen in Los Angeles, California on February 16, 1983. He was was employed as a supervisor at the Whittier Narrows Sanitation Plant at the time of his disappearance. He drove his work truck, with his co-worker John Alcantara as a passenger, into a brushy area at 10:30 a.m. and he has never been heard from again. Bennett's wife reported him missing that evening. Large amounts of his blood was later found in an overgrown area behind the sanitation plant and in a dump truck. Tire tracks from Bennett's truck and the dump truck were also found.
Following Bennett's disappearance, Alcantara told others Bennett had been seeing another woman and speculated he had run away with her. There is no evidence that this was case, and Bennett's loved ones stated he was happy with his life and had no reason to walk out of it.
In 2006, Alcantara was charged with murdering Bennett. A photograph of Alcantara is posted below this case summary. He has a criminal record with convictions for theft, cocaine possession and vandalism. He had worked as a gardener under Bennett at the sanitation plant in 1983. Alcantara had wanted a promotion to foreman, which was denied because Bennett gave him a poor performance review, citing his bad attitude and bullying behavior. Alcantara allegedly behaved bizarrely at times, such as by exposing himself and masturbating in front of coworkers, and he reportedly threatened a co-worker who had also applied for the foreman position. The co-worker reported the threat to Bennett the day before Bennett's disappearance. Bennett became angry and said he would confront Alcantara the next morning. None of this was reported to the police until years after Bennett went missing.
Authorities believe Alcantara shot Bennett in the head and dismembered his remains. Supposedly, another coworker, Mike Davis, who is now deceased, disposed of the body in the Puente Hills landfill. Alcantara had been a suspect in the case since shortly after Bennett disappeared, but prosecutors lacked the evidence to charge him until a witness came forward in 2004. The witness, who was a co-worker of both men in 1983, stated Alcantara had confessed Bennett's murder to him. Alcantara maintained his innocence is Bennett's case, but was convicted of murder in March 2008. He was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison.
In spite of an extensive search of the landfill, Bennett's remains have never been located. Foul play is suspected in his case due to the circumstances involved.
Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department