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MI- Sex suspect found dead in Howard City woods

5-29-2008 Michigan:

Reynolds Township - Police are asking possible victims to come forward after a man charged with child sex crimes was found dead last week in a wooded area near Howard City.

According to Howard City Police Chief Steve DeWitt, police responded to a call of a suspicious situation in a forested area at Newcosta Avenue near Tamarack Road in Reynolds Township at about 5:19 p.m. last Wednesday. Nearby residents had reported a vehicle parked in the woods since the early morning hours.

Upon arrival, police discovered the body of Donald Patrick Bentley, 39, of Hudsonville. Bentley's vehicle was parked nearby and a handgun was found near the dead man.

"Bentley died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound," DeWitt said.

Call the Howard City Police Department at (231) 937-4311 for more information. ..News Source.. by Elisabeth Waldon, The Greenville Daily News


Allegations surround man who killed himself

6-3-2008 Michigan:

HUDSONVILLE, Mich. (WOOD) - Donald Bentley killed himself May 21. But the Ottawa County Sheriff's Department is looking into his past involving allegations of sexual assaulting children.

Police began investigating Bentley, 39, after a parent and a 5-year-old boy claimed on May 17 Bentley sexually assaulted the child. Bentley was never charged with anything, but on May 20, the sheriff's department searched his home and took a computer, among other things.

Investigators believe the alleged assaults took place at his home in Hudsonville. The boy is a child of one of Bentley's acquaintances, and they believe other victims may be around.

"There's some statements that potentially could lead to additional victims, and again that's something we're analyzing now," said Lt. Mark Bennett. "It would be too early to say definitely there is because of past experience with these type of cases. There can and often are multiple victims."

Bentley had no criminal record and was unemployed. Previously, he'd been self-employed, and his job did not put him in direct contact with children.

Police found Bentley in his car in Howard City with a self -inflicted gunshot wound.

If you have any information, you're asked to contact the Ottawa County Sheriff's Department. ..News Source.. by Rachael Ruiz


Anonymous said...

He was my neighbor, I would've never thought he would do this. He was a nice man, who held a haunted house every year on halloween. He was a great man. I walk past his house everyday and think of what happened. It terrifies me that this has actually happened. We just had another suicide 2 days ago in my neighborhood, that's the third one in 3 weeks. I don't feel safe in my own neighborhood now.

Anonymous said...

He was my uncle...and I know the allegations against him, I know what happened, I was in the midst of the chaos. No one could have ever known, he was an amazing person. He didn't even have to try to make me laugh on my worst days. Thinking about his life and who he was still makes me smile. Thinking of the tragic circumstances of his death still makes me crumble. He did hold a haunted house every year, a tradition that me and my family have picked up, he held it because he loved to bring others joy. He was a great man who taught me so much of what I know today about God, life, laughter, and happiness along with how to deal with problems. He always told me everything was OK. He went to every single one of my band concerts even when my parents couldn't make it...I never would have guessed this. He was an amazing person and I hope he's enjoying his days in the after-life.