Silverthorne man looks for clues to find missing daughter
SILVERTHORNE – Denver police are investigating a case in which a Silverthorne girl either ran away or was abducted from a parking lot at Children’s Hospital where she was waiting to be admitted for psychological reasons.Her father, Hunter Bennett, is looking for any clues as to her whereabouts. She is described as being 5-foot, 3-inches tall, 130 pounds, brown hair and hazel eyes, with a birthmark on her lower right calf and freckles on her face.He said he drove his 15-year-old daughter, Chante Crystal Marie Bennett, to the hospital at about 9 p.m. Friday.The ninth grader suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder from incidents she experienced in her childhood.
While waiting to be admitted, she asked to go retrieve a pair of slippers from the car.That was the last time Bennett saw her, although her bag was found in a parking lot on the other side of the hospital.”She’s a good kid,” Bennett said. “She’s confused and frustrated. She knows she needs help. We had no indication that she’d run. I don’t understand why she’d run like that.”He has since posted flyers in Denver and Summit County. Saturday, he asked local church leaders to let their congregations know his daughter is missing and asked people to call him with any clues as to her whereabouts.Over the weekend, friends and acquaintances of hers from Summit High School called him, some of them noting that she had spoken with them about the stress and pressure she’d been under lately. Others indicated she might be in Tennessee.Bennett’s parents live in Fayetteville, Tenn., but Chante also has friends in the state from having attended school there, he said.
He’s notified sheriff’s offices there and given them Chante’s friends’ phone numbers so they might be able to track the teen down. The Silverthorne Police Department is also aware of the situation.Detective Brian Cotter of the Denver Police Department said he has not been successful in following any of the leads he’s been given so far.Bennett, a single father of three – the other two are in eighth and third grades – hasn’t been able to reach his parents, either, both of whom have cancer. His ex-wife lives in Pennsylvania and told him she doesn’t know where their daughter might be.He does, however, have some ideas as to what might have happened to Chante.He doesn’t think she had any money with her, so he’s not sure if she could have boarded a bus, yet, he’s asked Greyhound Bus Lines officials to review their security tapes to see if she might have tried to.He also wonders about a local boy Chante was seeing who allegedly had connections to the West Side Gang in Denver.
The two had dated for two months and broke up about three weeks ago, Bennett said. It’s possible he or his friends might have known she was coming to Denver and made plans to meet her – or possibly abduct her. But the boy’s parents said he was in school that Friday and at work that night – a story Bennett believes is true.”It may turn out she ran away,” he said. “But the way it looks, she could have been abducted. But it’s all conjecture. I have no proof of anything whatsoever. She was just probably more emotionally distraught than I thought. I’m at a loss.”Jane Stebbins can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 228.
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