The remains of a 20-year-old female, who vanished seven days prior, were found in a creek in Victoria, Texas, on Tuesday, the 28th of November, 2023.
Amanda Stevenson, a resident of Victoria, was reported missing on November 21 by her mother, just days before Thanksgiving and three days before what would have been her 20th birthday. The Victoria Police Department (VPD), investigating the disappearance, quickly pursued multiple leads to find out her whereabouts.
Stevenson’s last known location was identified as near Salem Road on November 19. During the investigation, the VPD located her cell phone, which was found locked and without a known password. Efforts to unlock the phone and retrieve potential forensic data were underway, as indicated by Jennifer Blankenship Horsley, Stevenson’s mother.
The focus of the investigation soon shifted to Kevin Bennetsen, a 45-year-old ride-share driver and former substitute teacher known to Stevenson, who often gave her rides. Bennetsen, a married man with children, was initially interviewed by detectives at his home. A second attempt to interview him on November 22, during a traffic stop, ended tragically, as Bennetsen took his own life during police questioning. The Texas Rangers are investigating this incident, and Bennetsen’s vehicle has been taken into police custody.
On November 28, the Victoria County Sheriff’s Office responded to a report of human remains found near a bridge by Patriot Park. Victoria County Sheriff Justin Marr confirmed the identification of the body as Stevenson’s. An autopsy was scheduled to be conducted by the Travis County Medical Examiner’s Office to determine the cause of death.
In their efforts to uncover more details, VPD and search parties explored areas between Yoakum and Victoria, places Stevenson might have visited before her disappearance. The investigation into the incident is ongoing, and the VPD continues to appeal to the public for any information related to Stevenson’s disappearance and death.