Richard Willis Bendele


Richard Willis Bendele was last seen November 17, 1996 in a remote area north of Rupert, Idaho.  Rick was just 29 years old when he made a cell phone call to his mother, stating that while he was out hunting his truck broke down and he was going to walk for help, he has not been seen or heard from since. His truck was found abandoned near the Laidlaw Corral area, north of Rupert. Reports theorize that he may have been taken against his will. 

According to family, Rick was familiar with the area, he had been there pheasant hunting many times over the years. 

Rick is a Caucasian male with brown hair and green eyes.  At the time he went missing, he had a mustache.  Rick worked for J.R. Simplot Co. in Heyburn, Idaho when he disappeared. 



11/17/1996 - At approximately 6pm Rick called his mother and told her his truck broke down.  Although Rick was familiar with the area, it was dark and he couldn't give specific directions as to where he was located. He did say he did not run out of gas. He said he was going to mark the road and would try to call her back. 

11/18/1996 - At roughly 2am, family reports to Minidoka County Sheriff that Rick is lost in the vicinity of Kimama Butte. Police locate his truck several miles northeast of the Kimama/Minidoka crossing.  Approximately one mile east of the Carey/Kimama Road.  The truck was located in Blaine County, Idaho: Blaine County Sheriff Walt Flemling took over the search. Police report that the cell phone in the truck had to be used with the truck's cigarette lighter.  There was a coat in the back of the truck and a shotgun in the cab. Reports point out that they are unsure if Rick was alone.

11/20/1996 - No evidence has been found except the truck. Search dogs were being used, nothing of note as of this date.

Note that this page is continuously updated, please be patient as we go through the timeline.



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