Thank you very much for your prayers. Beth is a special lady and I am so blessed to be able to consider her one of my friends. We have the kind of deep friendship that even after years apart, we just picked right up where we left off. I call it more a friendship of the soul. I love her very much.
From everything I've read, Beth was very close to her husband and her friends, and always texting or on the phone with them.
I cannot imagine her sitting at a train platform for an hour or more, waiting for a train to arrive, and not texting ANYONE to tell them where she was. Just doesn't fit with her normal behavior.
I think that any search for Beth needs to begin at the Mt. Vernon house and radiate outward. I do not believe that she ever went to Centralia.
Radiant, if you don't mind me asking...
Where did Beth and J rent the Altima? Did J contact the rental place and let them know that she would be returning it a day late? Was it returned on the 24th? Has LE looked at the car?
I am so glad that you joined WS. I really hope that Beth is found and all ends well. If so, then she needs to cut J right out of her life. What kind of a friend would treat her "best friend" the way that J has treated Beth?
i live in st. louis -- yeah, union station has shops/hotels. the amtrak station is down the street from union station, behind the arena.
to add to confusion: union station in chicago has amtrak.
centralia is about 65 miles east of st. louis, mount vernon about 80.
Someone in Chicago, help me on this. Can't you walk from the Amtrak Part of Union Station into the Metra Station without going outside? Weird, I have taken the train to Chicago (Amtrak) many times but have never gotten off the Amtrak and taken a Metra anywhere. I have either been met, stayed nearby so I got a taxi, or been going elsewhere on Amtrak with a layover, so I stashed my bag in a locker and hoofed it around the Loop till I had to get on my other train. And most of the time, I go up early in the week, and DH will come up on Friday in a car and then we drive back home together.
I have taken Metra back downtown for the day various times while staying with friends in the Burbs, and thought there was a way to go from one to the other without going outside?
All kinds of hugs!
I agree wholeheartedly about looking hard at the house being rehabbed, and anywhere else they may have been on that day. I am also feeling strongly she never went to Centralia.
I have no information about the rental car, but it is another big red flag for me that could potentially contain evidence and needs to be examined. I do not know what LE are doing regarding this info. I hope with all my heart they are doing something with it. I really believe they need to look at that car! I don't even know why a car was rented in the first place to go down there.
I am really glad I found you guys. You're totally on the ball. The smart ones figured certain things out days ago. Now, I think a lot of people are starting to catch on that J's story is unraveling. All of your hard work here really validates that there is a significant problem with J's story.
You're absolutely right, what "friend" would treat Beth in this way? Whatever has happened to Beth, she didn't deserve it. I'm not saying J hurt her on purpose - not at all. But it can't be ruled out, can it? Neither can some sort of stupid accident that a decision was made to cover up, yes?
Even if J's story were true, what female friend leaves another female friend alone in a strange place hundreds of miles from home for half an hour (or longer?) to board a train? So J herself, in her own words and story, indicates a lack of caring and concern for Beth's personal safety and well-being right then and there in my opinion.
Radiant, what makes you think she never went to Centralia ?
If you go the "back way" through Union Station, you basically go through a door that takes you to a walkway that is still inside the station, underground, by where the trains come in. It kinda reminds me of the "boiler room" scene from a Nightmare on Elm Street, just really industrial, lonely and creepy. I don't like the vibes down there. You walk on this underground walkway for about a block, because that's how big the station is, and then you exit on the North end of the building, go up a set of stairs and you are at street level on Madison, almost across from Ogilvie Transportation Center. It's just slightly diagonal across the street to enter OTC to catch Metra Union Pacific Northwest Line.
If the friend did drop at her at the station at 4:30 in the afternoon and Beth said she would fine alone, I am not ready to call her a horrible friend for that alone...
Although one article stated that she had seen her board a train at 5:30; that sounds so specific a statement, was that totally wrong?
Just my opinion, of course.
Thanks, Radiant! Nice to know I had that right - I think once YEARS ago I took that industrial walkway. LOL
Regarding Centralia's station - even if it looks like greenspace and all around the station, it isn't that nice and NO one would let someone wait there alone, unless there was some major reason they couldn't.
I also doubt she made it to Centralia.
All kinds of hugs!
Looking east from the parking lot, there's a small restaurant behind the trees, and a small park with an old railroad wooden water tower on the right.
Looking WNW from the Amtrak parking lot, that's Broadway street crossing the tracks.
Northbound train leaving the station area.
Conductor is setting down a step for passengers to exit, a few passengers waiting to board the northbound Illini train.
Looking SSE, Oak Street is on the left, the station building behind the cars on the right side of the photo.
On Beth's FB tonight there are new photos posted by someone who went to the Centralia train station [Ruby has posted these above]. He did a good job of photographing a number of different perspectives. There is an actual small station building there with a waiting area with bench and washrooms. Sign on the door clearly states that the premesis are under video surveillance. Hmmm...thought Amtrak stated no video surveillance at that station. Perhaps they meant outside? Or the sign is meant to make people think they are under surveillance but they're actually not? If I had a long wait for the train, I'd go in and sit on the bench...and be videotaped, if there area actually cameras inside s the sign indicates. Surely LE looked at that.
I have heard several different times regarding when J supposedly dropped Beth off, from 4:30 to about half an hour before the train was to have departed. I just don't know who said what exactly. I believe it was J's own words when she said half an hour before, but maybe she is giving conflicting statements herself about this? Just a thought of something to check on more closely.
Last edited by radiant; 06-05-2010 at 11:23 PM. Reason: added that Ruby posted the photos above
I did see 4:30 reported in one article...in any case,I never saw anything about it being at any time that would even approaching dark, or night....if it was in the afternoon, I can see dropping off an adult without hanging around, that is what i saying...one article did say she saw her get on a train at 5:30PM; of course, we don't know if that is true, but my point was, it was not dark, or nighttime, or scary time...as far as we know...
Just my opinion, of course.
Police: Amtrak has no record of missing woman
Police have been unable to verify whether a missing Woodstock woman ever boarded an Amtrak train bound for Chicago.
Thus far, police have found no witnesses who can identify Bentley as having boarded an Amtrak train.
Police still are considering a variety of possibilities, including that Bentley was abducted, fell victim to some type of harm, or chose to leave for her own reasons.
Missing woman may not have left Centralia, Ill.
There is no evidence that a northern Illinois woman who went missing May 23 ever left Centralia, police said Friday.
Beth Bentley, 41, of Woodstock, Ill., had reportedly been dropped off at about 4:30 p.m. that day at the Amtrak station in Centralia for a trip home.
the police chief in Woodstock, said there is no sign that she got on the train. He said there are no surveillance cameras at the Centralia station, and that video on the Chicago cameras did not show her.
Lowen also said that no passengers who were contacted could recognize Bentley's picture.