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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2004

    AZ - Loretta Bowersock, 69, Tempe, 14 Dec 2004

    Police looking for woman who went missing from mall

    Tucson Citizen
    December 15 2004

    Tucson police searched throughout the night for a 69-year-old Phoenix woman missing from Park Place mall after she was dropped off there by her husband at 2 p.m. yesterday.

    By shortly after 9 a.m., no trace of Loretta Bowersock had been found, but word that she is missing and a description has been put out to law enforcement agencies across the metro area, said Sgt. Carlos Valdez, a police spokesman.

    Police are concerned Bowersock may have fallen victim to foul play, although after a night of searching for her, there is no evidence she fell prey to a criminal, Valdez said.

    Bowersock is in good medical condition and is not afflicted by any mental disorder that would cause her to become disoriented or to wander, Valdez said.

    Bowersock was reported missing after her husband went to the shopping center to pick her up at 4 p.m. yesterday and could not find her, Valdez said.

    Police launched a search of the shopping center and surrounding neighborhoods that at times included up to 20 officers and detectives, he said.

    A police helicopter and dogs also were called into the search, which, Valdez said, was scaled back only when no sign of her was found by 4 a.m. today.

    "We've pulled out all the stops," Valdez said. "We have nothing. This is a strange one."

    "This is a lady who is very, very structured and organized," Valdez said. Family members have told police "this is very, very, very outside her normal behavior," he said.

    Valdez said police have learned of no reason why Bowersock would voluntarily disappear.

    It doesn't appear at this point "that she had any domestic problems," Valdez said.

    Bowersock is 5-feet-6, 130 pounds, with silver-colored hair, brown eyes and a fair compexion.

    She wears glasses and last was seen wearing a gray, ribbed, turtle-neck sweater, and matching gray pants and jacket, Valdez said.

    Police ask anyone seeing her or anyone who knows anything of her whereabouts to call 911.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Police search hotel room, vehicle of missing Tempe woman's husband

    10:21 PM MST on Sunday, December 19, 2004

    NewsChannel 3

    Tempe police served a search warrant Sunday for the Phoenix hotel room where the husband of a missing Tempe woman has been staying.

    Earlier Sunday afternoon, Phoenix police were called to Taw Benderly's hotel room by his daughter-in-law, Terry Bowersock of Terri's Consign and Design.

    According to police, she became concerned after talking to him on the phone. When officers arrived, Benderly was asleep and unharmed.

    Investigators have been looking for 69-year-old Loretta Bowersock since Tuesday. Benderly told police he dropped his wife off at Tucson's Park Place Mall. When he arrived to pick her up two hours later, she wasn't there.

    Terri Bowersock spoke with KTVK NewsChannel 3 in Phoenix on Saturday. She's doing everything she can to try and locate her mother, she said.

    Police have already searched Benderly's Tempe home and his van prior to Sunday's search. Police have said they do not currently consider him a suspect.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Search for missing woman shifts to Casa Grande area

    06:55 AM Mountain Standard Time on Tuesday, December 21, 2004

    The Associated Press

    TUCSON -- The search for a missing woman has shifted from Tucson to an outlet mall in Casa Grande.

    That's where Valley businesswoman Terri Bowersock was searching for her missing mother Tuesday, after advice from psychics led her there.

    Loretta Bowersock disappeared Dec. 14th.

    Her companion of 18 years, Taw Benderly claims he dropped her off at Tucson's Park Place Mall.

    Bowersock didn't show when he returned to pick her up.

    However, police haven't seen any sign of Bowersock in surveillance video.

    Terri Bowersock was searching the desert around the mall Monday, but the search turned up nothing.

    She planned to return with psychics and cadaver dogs Tuesday.

    Police have searched the couple's Tempe home and confiscated Benderly's van.

    Police say they're going the van to see if Loretta Bowersock was in it and when.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Wednesday, December 22, 2004

    News Update
    Cops focus on missing woman's boyfriend
    By Kim Smith, Tribune

    Loretta Bowersock
    Taw Benderly, the boyfriend of missing Tempe woman Loretta Bowersock, is no longer cooperating and has become the focus of the investigation, police said Tuesday.

    “Undoubtedly he holds all of the answers to most of the questions we have surrounding her disappearance,” said Tempe police Sgt. Dan Masters. “At this point what we have is circumstantial evidence, though. We don’t have any physical, concrete, tangible evidence to establish that a crime took place yet.”

    Benderly did not return calls Tuesday.

    On the advice of psychics, daughter Terri Bowersock, Gila River Indian Community police and 35 volunteers combed the desert Tuesday for the 69-year-old woman.

    “We’re looking under bushes, we’re looking for clothing and tarps and we’re looking for body parts,” Terri Bowersock said, taking a deep breath. “We’re looking for body parts because of the coyotes.”

    Benderly told police last week he dropped Loretta Bowersock off at Tucson’s Park Place Mall on Dec. 14, but she was missing when he arrived two hours later to pick her up.

    Tucson Police Department turned the investigation over to Tempe police on Tuesday because they could not confirm Benderly’s story.

    Detectives have been able to place Benderly in Tucson and Casa Grande, but there is no evidence to indicate Loretta Bowersock was with him, Masters said.
    The last confirmed sighting of Loretta Bowersock was in Tempe on Dec. 13.

    Detectives last week searched the Tempe home Loretta Bowersock and Benderly shared, and Benderly’s van was seized over the weekend.

    Several articles, including blankets, have been turned over to the Arizona Department of Public Safety’s crime lab to be examined forensically, Masters said.
    Detectives have been working closely with the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office on the case, Masters said.

    “We’re confident that in time and hopefully sooner, rather than later, all of our I’s will be dotted and our T’s crossed,” Masters said.

    Tuesday was the third consecutive day Terri Bowersock has combed the desert between Phoenix and Tucson looking for her mother.

    All searchers found was a decomposing coyote, discarded furniture and broken bottles.

    The psychics have consistently pointed Terri Bowersock to the desert, and she isn’t the type to sit at home and do nothing, she said.

    “Some of the detectives are making fun of me. (They say) ‘we’re going off the evidence, not the psychic stuff you’re doing,’ ” said Terri Bowersock, owner of Terri's Consign and Design Furnishings in Tempe.

    Benderly has consistently told her he can’t help find her mother because he doesn’t know where she is, Terri Bowersock said.

    “At this point, with nothing showing up and the evidence and everything, I’m trying to stay in the middle,” Terri Bowersock said.

    Terri Bowersock said she will continue to search for her mother until she’s brought home.

    “My mom was a good-hearted woman and also a classy lady, a beautiful lady,” Terri Bowersock said. “She would not want to be out there.”

    Terri Bowersock should be commended for her tireless search for her mother, but Loretta Bowersock could still be in the Valley, Masters said.

    “That’s as likely as her having been killed and dumped in the desert,” Masters said. “I don’t think any probability has been ruled out as far as where she could be.”

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Whittier, CA
    Why did he have a hotel room?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Her boyfriend's story was that they left their home in Tempe and after going to an outlet mall in Casa Grande went on to Tucson to stay for a few days. Supposedly he had business at the U of A. He is back home in Tempe now but won't talk to police. A store clerk at Casa Grande said he was alone when he purchased a hat at the outlet mall there. I'm sure he did it. I think the police are too.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Native Texan, In Germany
    Loretta Bowersock matches.

    Prayers for Loretta, and those who search.

    With love and HOPE, Lanie

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Man's body found in home
    May be missing woman's friend

    Katie Nelson
    The Arizona Republic
    Dec. 24, 2004 12:00 AM

    Tempe police found the body of a man Thursday night inside the home of a missing Tempe woman.

    Three patrol officers and their supervisor arrived at the house in the 1800 block of East Manhatton Drive about 6 p.m. after receiving a request from Terri Bowersock, whose mother Loretta has been missing since last week, said Sgt. Dan Masters, a Tempe police spokesman.

    Terri Bowersock, owner of the multimillion-dollar chain of consignment shops Terri's Consign & Design Furnishings, wanted officers to check on the welfare of Taw Benderly, who lived in the home with Loretta, his 18-year companion, and is an investigative lead in her disappearance, Masters said. advertisement

    Police have not identified the man and upon confirming his death, they left the house to obtain a search warrant. Masters said there were no signs of forced entry to the house.

    "Obviously, it's a piece to an extremely large puzzle," Masters said of the discovery. "We want to reach a conclusion to this alarming matter."

    Terri Bowersock said she dropped Benderly off at the home on Monday after picking him up from a Phoenix hotel where he had been staying. She last spoke to him by telephone on Tuesday evening. She said she has been calling every day and when he didn't return her two calls on Thursday, she called police and gave them the key to the house.

    "At this point, I can't know what to feel," Bowersock said. "There is so many mixed emotions."

    Records obtained from the Maricopa County Recorder's Web site indicate that the couple's home, which is in Bowersock's name, is scheduled for a foreclosure auction Feb. 7. Terri said the couple had financial problems in the past and she had loaned Benderly, an inventor and jewelry trader, thousands of dollars.

    Bowersock family friend Margarita Quiauit, who has scoured the desert searching for Loretta, arrived at the home with Terri Thursday evening.

    "You look for that hope, and that hope was just knocked out," she said. "You're looking for answers, and now those answers are gone."

    Benderly reported Loretta missing to Tucson authorities on Dec. 14. He told police he dropped her off at the Park Place shopping center in Tucson that afternoon and she wasn't there when he returned two hours later to pick her up.

    Last week, Tucson and Tempe police searched the couple's Tempe home. The warrant remains sealed. Tempe investigators took over the investigation this week when Tucson authorities could not find any evidence she had been in Tucson at the time of her reported disappearance. Meanwhile, Terri has been organizing daily search parties in the desert between the Valley and Tucson.

    Tempe police confiscated Benderly's minivan Sunday and were scheduled to do a forensic search on it Thursday. Masters had no details about that search.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2004
    A suicide??

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    I'm guessing, yes it was a suicide. I wonder about Loretta. Her house was being foreclosed on in February despite the fact that she helped her daughter start a multi-million dollar business. Something is fishy!!!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    News Update
    Woman’s fate still unknown after boyfriend kills self
    By Kim Smith, Tribune
    Detectives are poring through a missing Tempe woman’s belongings and those of her late boyfriend hoping to turn up clues about her fate.

    Loretta Bowersock, 69, was re ported missing by her longtime companion Taw Benderly on Dec. 14.

    Benderly hanged himself inside his garage Dec. 23 after police named him as an "investigative lead" in her disappearance.

    Although detectives had searched the couple’s Tempe home once before, they have been going through it again with a "fine-tooth comb," said Tempe Sgt. Dan Masters.

    "They’ve been flipping through every page in every book on every shelf looking for a note," Masters said.

    Detectives are also searching for any possible motive as to why Benderly might have wanted to harm Bowersock, Masters said.

    "Prior to his death, we didn’t necessarily have access to all of his financial records," Masters said. "So now I’m sure we’ll be getting court orders for those."

    As the investigation has unfolded, Bowersock’s daughter, Terri, has learned about the couple’s financial problems.

    Her mother’s house was foreclosed and scheduled to be auctioned by Maricopa County on Feb. 7, according to the Maricopa County Recorder’s Office. Terri Bowersock has said she doesn’t think her mother knew about the foreclosure.

    Terri Bowersock, owner of Terri’s Consign and Design Furnishings, continues to search the desert south of Phoenix on the advice of psychics, who have said her mother’s body is there.

    Tempe detectives have not yet joined that search because they are trying to narrow down the scope, Masters said.

    Benderly told Tucson police he dropped Loretta Bowersock off at Park Place Mall, but that she wasn’t there when he went to pick her up.

  12. #12
    SewingDeb's Avatar
    SewingDeb is offline "Sorry, I'm not qualified to land the plane."
    Join Date
    Apr 2004

    From the article:

    Just after 6pm, Tempe Police went to check on Taw Benderly in the home he shared with Loretta Bowersock. When they got inside they discovered Benderly dead. He committed suicide.

    The same home was searched last week by Tempe Police, the day after Benderly reported Bowersock missing. They found Loretta Bowersock's purse and, according to our source close to the investigation, they also found blood.

    Terri Bowersock thought Taw Benderly might have been trying to commit suicide this past Sunday in a Phoenix hotel. Phoenix Police checked on Benderly and said he was just under some medication and he could sleep it off.

    "On one hand he was a good nice man, on the other hand he was very difficult," Terri said about Benderly.

    Now, Terri Bowersock hopes he left a note so she can find her mom. "Right now I want to know if there is a note for me, I just hope he loved her enough that he left a note for her or me. Because my mom doesn't want to be on the desert and I have to find her."

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Such a sad story...it seems like the companion must have really had something to do with Loretta's disappearance. I pray for Terri and that she can get some answers soon. How horrible.

  14. #14
    Services planned for missing woman

    December 29, 2004

    TEMPE, Ariz. There's no body and no proof that Loretta Bowersock met with foul play.

    But the search continues by family members for the 69-year-old Tempe woman.

    Tempe police are treating Bowersock's disappearance as a missing person case.

    Tomorrow night, family members will gather for a memorial service in Chandler for Bowersock.

    The search for Bowersock began December 14th after her long-time companion Taw Benderly phoned police to report that Benderly didn't return from a shopping trip at a Tucson mall.

    Nine days later, Tempe police found Benderly's body, hanging inside the garage of the Tempe home he shared with Bowersock.

    Terri Bowersock says Benderly left a typed, unsigned note.

    It simply said quote: "Loretta and I had vowed to be with each other for eternity and so we shall."

    It provided no clues as to where Bowersock is.


  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Police: Evidence in woman's disappearance points to companion

    Katie Nelson
    The Arizona Republic
    Jan. 6, 2005 08:15 PM

    Tempe police released search warrants Thursday in the death and disappearance investigation of Loretta Bowersock, making public for the first time reasons why investigators suspect her companion Taw Benderly.

    "Very early on, inconsistencies in his story seemed to multiply," said Sgt. Dan Masters, department spokesman. Bowersock, a 69-year-old Tempe woman, has been missing since Dec. 14. Benderly, the only person being investigated, hung himself Dec. 23.

    The 29-page packet shows a dirt-covered pick and shovel were in the mini-van Benderly said he drove to Tucson with Bowersock. Police also found passports and suitcases. Several travel bags contained Benderly's clothing, while one held Bowersock's.

    A black purse containing Bowersock's driver's license, credit cards, checkbook was wrapped in a towel in a second minivan inside the couple's garage.

    This seems to contradict Benderly's report that Bowersock was last seen at a Tucson mall, Masters said. "If she had planned to go to Tucson for a shopping trip and be overnight, you would think her purse would have been with her," he said.

    Investigators are narrowing their search for Bowersock's body to the Pinal County deserts because receipts show Benderly purchased gas about 9 a.m. in Tempe, and refilled again in Casa Grande. He also bought a hat.

    "It's highly probable he drove off the interstate somewhere in the vicinity of Casa Grande and either dumped her body or buried it somewhere in the desert," Masters said.

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