The family of a Milano-area man whose body was found in late June on Sugarloaf Mountain isn’t satisfied with the Milam County Sheriff’s Department’s investigation into that death and is offering a reward for information.
Sheriff David Green says the circumstances surrounding the death of 55-year- old Bennett were thoroughly investigated and, while an autopsy on the badly decomposed body could not determine a cause of death, there was no evidence of foul play.
Bennett family spokespersons told an Austin television station this week they were offering a $1,000 reward for information about the death, saying he had expressed fear for his safety and questioning his physical ability to reach the area where his body was found.
Bennett was last seen June 9 at the Rockdale Walmart. When family members became concerned, posters were distributed throughout the area.
Searchers found his vehicle on County Road 264 near Sugarloaf, a bluff overlooking the Little River Valley and a place where Bennett often hiked.
Search dogs from Aust in were brought into the rough terrain and after two searches in 100-degree temperature his body was located.
Texas Ranger Matt Lindemann and forensic anthropologist Harrell Gill-King of the University of North Texas were summoned to investigate and an autopsy was performed.
Deputy Sheriff Chris White said due to extensive decomposition of the body the autopsy was unable to determine cause of death but produced “no signs of trauma or foul play.”
CALLS— Calls dispatched from the Milam County Sheriff’s Department during the past week were listed as follows:
Sept. 17—Medical call, south of Rockdale; informat ion, McClerran Hill, Cameron area; information, San Gabriel area; person walking on shoulder of roadway, FM 437; assist Belton Police Department, US 79, east of Milano; medical call, North 4th Street, Milano; abandoned vehicle, West of CR 206, Cameron area; request for information, Cameron area; burglary, Holly Drive, Rockdale area; information, CR 322, Rockdale area; illegal dumping, CR 104; civil matter, Cameron area; civil matter, CR 206, Cameron area; suspicious person/vehicle, CR 353, Gause area; scam attempt, CR 329, Milano area; suspicious person, North Jefferson, Cameron; disturbance, CR 342, Milano area; loud music, US 77, north of Rockdale; medical call, unknown area.
Sept. 18—Information, FM 485, east of Cameron; criminal mischief, CR 306; found property, US 79, Milano area; request to speak to deputy, CR 263, Cameron area; theft, CR 418, Thorndale area; follow up, Milam County Sheriff’s Office, Cameron; possible scam, CR 303A; family disturbance, US 79.
Thursday—Civil child custody matter, Cameron area; other, North FM 487; information, Milam County Sheriff’s Office, Cameron; 911 abandoned call, Praesel Addition, Rockdale area; welfare concern, US 79; follow up, Milam County Sheriff’s Office, Cameron; juvenile case, North FM 487; welfare check, CR 221, Cameron area; wanted person, West 8th Street, Cameron.
Friday—Welfare concern, CR 350A, Gause area; request to speak to deputy, Thorndale area; suspicious activity, CR 443; welfare check, T X 36, nor th of Milano; tree blocking roadway, CR 226A, Cameron area; medical call, FM 487, north of Rockdale; suspicious vehicle, CR 320, Rockdale area; tree blocking roadway, CR 313, Rockdale area; tree blocking roadway, CR 305, Rockdale.
Saturday—Suspicious person, CR 352, Gause area; road hazard, TX 36, Buckholts area; request to speak to deputy, CR 232 Loop, Rockdale area; recover stolen vehicle, 4th Street, Milano; animal abuse/cruelty, CR 418A, Thorndale area; request to speak to deputy, unknown area; domestic in progress, CR 305, Rockdale area; suspicious person/vehicle, Sharp church, Sharp area; animal nuisance, Capital Lane, Davilla area; arrest made, FM 437, Davilla area.
Sunday—Assist other agency, Cameron area; fight in progress, VFW Hall, Cameron area; information, FM 487, Rockdale area; abandoned vehicle, CR 145, Cameron area; family matter, FM 2095; family matter, South FM 2095; assault, CR 203 Loop; arrest made, US 79, east of Milano; medical call, FM 487, north of Rockdale; suspicious people, CR 407, Davilla area.
Monday—Fraud, North Travis, Cameron; request to speak to deputy, US 79, west of Thorndale; scam attempt, CR 446; animal nuisance, East Avenue A, Milano; request to speak to deputy, Oak Park 4, Rockdale area; fight, Oak Park 4, Rockdale area; suspicious vehicle, CR 259A, Branchville area; medical call, North FM 487.
There were also 16 loose livestock calls for the sheriff’s department during the week.