Crime General — 30 January 2015 — by Albert J. Ciego
Police seek assistance to find mother’s brutal killer

SAN PEDRO, Mon. Jan. 26, 2015–San Pedro police are conducting an intense investigation to capture the killer or killers of Sylvia Carmen Benitez, 22, a resident of San Pedrito in San Pedro Town and the mother of three children. Benitez’s nude and decomposing body was found at about 11:00 Saturday morning, January 17, in an isolated and uninhabited area of Mata Grande, about 3 ½ miles north of San Pedro, 48 hours after she was reported missing by her concerned friends.

Benitez was found by two men who were in the area who became aggravated by a terrible stench of rotting flesh and went to investigate what was causing the odor and that was when they found the decomposing body of a woman about 15 feet off the dirt road behind some bushes. She was found lying face-down in a shallow mud pond.

She apparently had been killed elsewhere and her body disposed of in the area, said police.

The young mother was reported missing on Thursday, January 15, by friends who became concerned when she failed to return home to her children after leaving work on Monday, January 12.

The owner of the restaurant where Benitez worked reported that she was seen by one of his workmen on a golf cart with a man sometime around 4:30 on Tuesday morning, January 13.

Police also reported that Benitez was seen with four men earlier around 4:00 Tuesday morning sitting on a bench holding an alcoholic drink.

It is unknown what happened after 4:30 Tuesday morning, before her decomposing body was found on Saturday, January 17.

A post-mortem examination performed on Benitez pinpointed bruises to her face, neck and back, and the autopsy revealed that her body had multiple blunt force injuries to the right side of her face and to her neck and back, as well as injuries to her shoulders and inner thigh that seemed to be the result of forceful restraint.

However, the cause of Benitez’s death could not be determined. Police said that due to the marks around her neck, they strongly believe that she was strangled to death.

Inspector Henry Jemmott, Deputy Commander of the San Pedro police, said that they have received several statements from people who have been interviewed but so far they have not gotten any specific lead.

Police are calling on the public in San Pedro to assist in solving this murder. Anyone who has information that can help police solve the murder, or information that can help them arrest the killer or killers of Sylvia Benitez, is urged to contact the nearest police station, or the San Pedro police at 206- 2022. Individuals can either contact Superintendent Luis Castellanos, Commander of San Pedro police, or the Deputy Commander, Inspector Henry Jemmott.

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