News

Body found in search for missing area man

Autopsy shows no signs of foul play


Bennett Bennett The Milam County Sheriff’s Department has called off a search for a missing Milano-area man af ter finding a body Saturday.

The init ial search for Larry Wayne Bennett, 55, began last week after fami ly members reported they hadn’t seen Bennett since June 9.

Searchers found his vehicle alongside Milam County Road 264 near Sugarloaf Mountain.

Posters with Bennett’s picture were distributed throughout the area.

Sheriff’s Department Investigator Lt. Jay Beathard and Deputy Mike Hoyt searched the area of Sugarloaf—a 492-foot-above sea level Milam County landmark— on foot but it was determined the terrain was so rough that search dogs were needed.

DOGS— Chief Deputy Chris White contacted Search Dog Network from Bryan and canines and handlers searched the area for over five hours last Wednesday before high temperatures— the mercury climbed over 100 degrees—forced a halt.


Search manager Jim Yeager of Search Dog Network directs personnel around Sugarloaf Mountain during Saturday’s grim task. Search manager Jim Yeager of Search Dog Network directs personnel around Sugarloaf Mountain during Saturday’s grim task. The search dogs returned on Saturday, along with members of Alamo Area Search and Rescue of Austin.

After a four-hour search a body was located and deputies began to process the area for evidence and documentation.

Texas Ranger Matt Lindemann and forensic anthropologist Har- rell Gill-King of the University of North Texas were summoned and the remains were transported to the Travis County Medical Examiner’s Office for an autopsy.

White said there were no signs of trauma or indication of foul play.

“However, due to the extensive decomposition of the body, the cause of death could not be determined,” White said.

Investigators are holding off positively identifying the body as Bennett’s until dental records can be compared.


Milam County Deputy Sheriff Mike Hoyt (red shirt) looks on as dogs are prepared for search. See more photos on page 6C. 
Photos courtesy Deputy Chris White, Milam County Sheriff’s Department Milam County Deputy Sheriff Mike Hoyt (red shirt) looks on as dogs are prepared for search. See more photos on page 6C. Photos courtesy Deputy Chris White, Milam County Sheriff’s Department Bennett was a resident of Milam County Road 342, due east of Milano.

White said Search Dog Network is a volunteer group specializing in Search and Rescue incidents utilizing dogs specially trained in locating missing persons and working with law enforcement.

MISSING— Bennet t wa s reported at Rockdale’s Walmart the night before he went to Sugarloaf, an area he was known to visit and occasionally hike in, according to investigators.

Sugarloaf Mountain is a bluff above the confluence of the Little and Brazos Rivers and is one of the most recognizable landmarks in the county.

It was recently selected as a point of interest on the El Camino Real National Historic Trail, a National Park Service-administered trail which links Louisiana with Mexico. CANINE SEARCH—It wasn’t the usual for Milam County, a search involving dogs that ended in a body recovery, but that’s what happened Saturday in the Sugarloaf Mountain area. Above, Cindy Grant and Chuck Cowan of Bryan’s Search Dog Network, prepare to head for the field. At left, Katie Breland and K-9 Retta make final preparations. The search ended successfully but sadly as a body believed to be that of missing Milano-area man Larry Wayne Bennett was found. Story and more photos, pages 1A and 6A.




Photos courtesy Milam County Sheriff’s Dept. Photos courtesy Milam County Sheriff’s Dept.

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2013-07-04 digital edition



The burn ban for Milam County has been lifted. Burning is always prohibited in the county's municipalities.


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