Crime

Sullivan County Sheriff: Investigators continue to ask for public’s help in Sarah “Jeanette” Benson murder

From the Office of Sullivan County Sheriff, Clark Cottom:

Investigators with the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office and Indiana State Police, continue to seek answers in the 1981 murder of Sarah “Jeanette” Benson, age 51, of Farmersburg, Indiana.

Sarah “Jeanette” Benson, age 51, of Farmersburg, Indiana

On the evening of January 2nd, 1981, Mrs. Benson returned home from shopping in Terre Haute, when an intruder, who was inside her Farmersburg home, confronted her.

Mrs. Benson’s husband, Emory, was at work in Terre Haute at the time.

Neighbors described seeing a blue sedan parked in the Benson’s driveway, just prior to Mrs. Benson returning home. One of the witnesses thought the vehicle was an older Plymouth Valiant, describing it as “robin egg blue”. A second witness thought the vehicle was possibly a Chevrolet, describing it as having “shiny blue paint”. Another witness described the sedan as being “very clean”.

According to police, the vehicle pictures are not of the actual suspect vehicle. They are provided merely as examples.
According to police, the vehicle pictures are not of the actual suspect vehicle. They are provided merely as examples.

One neighbor observed a white male near the home. The male, who was wearing a down vest, was seen exiting the blue sedan, and knocking on the Benson’s front door. Investigators believe this man was likely the intruder.
The male was described as tall and thin, possibly in his 20’s – at the time. Investigators remind the public that this man would now likely be in his 50’s.

Investigators exhausted many leads over the years, but have not been able to develop sufficient information for an arrest.

The Benson family remain hopeful that sharing this information may spark someone’s memory. Over time, relationships change and it is not uncommon that someone with information could come forward, to bring closure to this senseless murder.

Benson’s gravestone

If you know of any information concerning Mrs. Benson’s murder, please contact the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office at (812) 268-4308 or the Indiana State Police at (765) 653-4114.


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