Sullivan County Sheriff asks for help with solving cold case

Sarah "Jeanette" Benson was murdered in January, 1981

Posted: Jan 2, 2019 5:35 AM
Updated: Jan 2, 2019 5:41 PM

FARMERSBURG, Ind. (WTHI) - Investigators with the Sullivan County Sheriff's Office and Indiana State Police continue to seek answers in the 1981 murder of Sarah "Jeanette" Benson - 51 of Farmersburg.

On the evening of January 2, 1981, Mrs. Benson returned home from shopping in Terre Haute, to be surprised by an intruder inside her Farmersburg home.

Mrs. Benson's husband, Emory, was at work in Terre Haute at the time.

Neighbors described seeing a blue sedan parked in the Benson's driveway, just prior to Mrs. Benson returning home.

One of the witnesses thought the vehicle was a Plymouth Valiant, describing it as "robin egg blue".

A second witness thought the vehicle was possibly a Chevrolet, describing it as having "shiny blue paint".

A third witness described the sedan as being "very clean".

One neighbor observed a white male near the home. The male, who was wearing a vest, was seen exiting the blue sedan, before knocking on the Benson's front door.

The male was described as tall and thin, possibly in his 20's, at the time.

Investigators believe this man was likely the killer.

Investigators exhausted many leads over the years, but have not been able to develop sufficient information for an arrest.

Investigators, and the Benson family remain hopeful, that sharing this information may spark someone's memory.

Police remind the public that the killer would now likely be in his 50's.

If you know of any information concerning Mrs. Benson's murder, contact the Sullivan County Sheriff's Office at 812-268-4308 or the Indiana State Police at 765-653-4114.

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