By Amanda J. Spedding
Dunwich, MA – In an effort to piece together the last known movements of Thomas John (T.J.) Bennett and Bella May Langford, police are calling for witnesses who had any contact with the couple to come forward.
At approximately 3am Saturday morning, a passing motorist alerted police to a broken guardrail at the top of ‘Witches Drop’ above the Miskatonic River. A full-scale search was launched at daybreak, with police rescue officers having to abseil the cliff face to get to the vehicle. Bennett’s overturned car was found at the base, but no sign of Bennett or his girlfriend, Bella Langford, has been found.
According to Thomas Bennett Sr., “T.J. and Bella were coming to spend the summer holidays with us. He rang around 9pm, saying they were stopping for a late dinner and would be home by around eleven…he should be here by now; he’s a safe driver; he should be here by now.”
Police, fire and volunteer-rescue crews have been searching the forest surrounding the Miskatonic River for four days with no sign of either Bennett or Langford. All their belongings remained in the vehicle, including their cell phones.
According to police spokesman, Captain Jim Rose, “The search crews will be scaled back today while we concentrate our efforts on other parts of the valley surrounding Round Mountain.” Queried further, Captain Rose confirmed that police would begin “dredging the river in an effort to bring closure to the Bennett and Langford families.”
When asked if this was standard procedure after only four days missing, Captain Rose replied, “Temperatures these last three nights have dropped below freezing. Mr. Bennett and Ms. Langford’s suitcases remained locked in the trunk of their car, indicating that they were unprepared for the unusually cold weather. Yes,” he continued, “We have no doubt they were in the car when it came to rest.”
Asked what he believed happened to Langford and Bennett, Captain Rose declined to comment, but added, “We are using our resources as effectively as possible under the circumstances.”
An unnamed police source has confirmed that traces of blood were found on both the driver and passenger seats of the vehicle. What concerns police is the lack of a blood trail or footprints leading away from the crash site.
Another source close to the search team claims that those processing the crash site were “concerned” by the lack of trace evidence outside the car, but were “troubled by tracks” that appeared to lead towards the river: “Don’t know what it was they seen (sic), but it turned them white as ghosts.”
When questioned about the unusual tracks leading towards the Miskatonic River, Captain Rose had this to say: “This is not a case of urban legend, but a tragic accident. Show some respect for the families.”
The river has long held the legend of the Miskatonic Sea Dragon, the fabled serpent said to hibernate for thirty years before coming ashore and feeding on lost travelers in the valley.
The community of Dunwich, at the base of Round Mountain, appeared to be in lockdown today. The few small businesses were closed, the tiny school and chapel were also eerily silent. Through a closed door, the Parson of Dunwich, Milton Moor, advised that the town “stoically guards its privacy, but prayers will be said for the missing.”