News and Tribune

January 30, 2013

Letter: Bennett family thanks community for support


— My wife, sons and extended family want to take a moment to thank everyone in the community for their support and prayers while our son, Ethan, had been missing.

We, along with many of you, hoped and prayed the outcome would have been different. Your prayers are still welcomed by us as we attempt to come to accept our son’s passing.

It seems a far cry at this point to see even the faintest glimmer of a silver lining, but there have been blessings in this experience. While there is often tragedy in the world; there is also kindness, compassion and concern.

We’d like to take a moment to thank family and friends, many of whom we’d not seen in years, for their volunteerism in getting out fliers, raising awareness on the Internet, driving and searching — the list of activities goes on and on.

Also, we’d like to thank all the media outlets; the News and Tribune, The Courier-Journal, WHAS, WAVE, WLKY and WDRB who covered the situation with respect and dignity.

Finally, we would like to publicly thank the Clark County Sheriff’s Department, namely Detective Randy Burton, Capt. Brian Meyer and Detective Donnie Bowyer to name but a few for their diligence and efforts. They made themselves available to us 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Every slightest whisper of a rumor — some of them quite painful I might add — or possible sighting had been checked thoroughly, and when they felt that the things had not developed in the case, started over from day one to assure that they had checked every possibility.

Despite their relentless efforts, our son passed away as a result of an automobile accident the very same night he’d gone missing.

My wife and I had noted that there had been some criticism of the fashion by which the case had been handled by the Clark County Sheriff’s Department, particularly as it relates to the hiring of a private aircraft to search for the vehicle. Please know that they had taken these measures on their own accord shortly after Ethan’s disappearance, but to no avail due to heavy foliage. After the leaves had fallen, it was suggested that we repeat the effort. The Clark County Sheriff’s Department has reimbursed us completely, at their volition, and with no request from us to do so.

We have taken a small step to honor our son’s memory in founding the Ethan Bennett Memorial Scholarship Fund being administered by the Community Foundation of Southern Indiana.

We are holding a benefit to celebrate Ethan’s short life at 7 p.m. March 30 at Lakeside Reflections in Jeffersonville. The night will have live music, a silent auction, face painting, massages, shoe shines and more. Food and drink will be available for purchase.

Proceeds will go to the Ethan Bennett Memorial Scholarship Fund to help fellow students pursue higher education.

Thank you again for your thoughts and prayers.

— Tony and Kelley Bennett, Sellersburg