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December 15, 2012

Likely body, car of missing Sellersburg teen Ethan Bennett discovered

Officials waiting to confirm identity, situation around death

NEW ALBANY — The search for a missing Sellersburg teenager has apparently ended tragically.

Officials confirmed they discovered a body Friday inside a car believed to have been driven by Ethan Bennett, 19, who has been missing since Sept. 11. The car and body were found off Skyline Drive in Floyd County in a ravine that drops more than 750 feet from the roadway.

Floyd County Prosecutor Keith Henderson said during a press conference Saturday that efforts were ongoing to identify the body, and that more details would likely be known Monday.

He said there were no breaks in the fencing around the drop off area, but that investigators will be examining the scene to determine if the vehicle could have possibly been airborne when it crossed the barrier.

Due to the deteriorated condition of the car, Henderson estimated it had likely been in the wreckage spot for several weeks.

“We can’t talk in terms at this point if it was intentional or unintentional,” Henderson said of the wreck.

Bennett was last seen by a family member on the night of Sept. 11, and the Clark County Sheriff’s Department had stated they didn’t feel the case was a criminal matter.

A witness did report they saw Bennett driving the 2001 silver Jaguar he was seen leaving the family’s home in Sept. 14 on Veterans Parkway in Clarksville.

Henderson didn’t confirm whether or not the officials suspected foul play, suicide or just a loss of control in the wreck, only that local investigators would stick to their normal process for determining the cause of death.

“This is a process that we use ... to investigate this from start to finish and not make any presumptions,” Henderson said.

The missing-person report was filed with the Clark County Sheriff’s Department, and the Floyd County Sheriff’s Office also has assisted in the investigation and will continue to do so considering where the car and body were found.

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