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Brooke Bennett Funeral and Landfill Search in Texas for Raymond Gagnon’s Laptop and Hard Drive

As Randolph, VT lay 12 year old Brooke Bennett to rest there are further investigations into the death of Brooke. Funeral services were held Wednesday, July 9, 2008 as the small town in Vermont paid their respects to 12 year old Brooke Bennett and tried to make sense out of the senseless.


Brooke Bennett, Rest in Peace

Thousands of miles away in Texas, Federal authorities were searching a landfill in San Antonio where they believe a laptop or hard drive owned by Brooke’s former step-father Raymond Gagnon containing evidence related to Brooke Bennett’s disappearance and death last month may be located. Raymond Gagnon has already facing obstruction of justice charges in the Brooke Bennett case and separate charges of child porn in AL.


Raymond Gagnon, sketch

Erik Vasys, a spokesman for the FBI’s regional office in San Antonio, Texas, said Friday that authorities are searching through trash and other waste at the Allied Waste Services Landfill off of Interstate 10 East.

That San Antonio landfill may be the dumping site for trash from a local apartment rented by Raymond Gagnon, Bennett’s former stepfather who is facing charges in Alabama for possession of child pornography.

The 40-year-old Gagnon allegedly instructed his landlord last month to throw away a safe containing a computer stored at his apartment that police say contained volumes of child pornography, including sexual photos of an underage female witness involved in Bennett’s disappearance.

“We are working to locate a hard drive or laptop computer that was disposed of at the instruction of Mr. Gagnon,” Vasys said early Friday afternoon. “Based on information we have received, this landfill is the dumping site for trash from his apartment.”

FBI Searches Texas Landfill For Safe That May Contain Child Porn

Gagnon rented a room in San Antonio from Kevin Grosenheider, who according to an affidavit told authorities he threw the safe into an apartment complex garbage bin near his home at Gagnon’s request.

Grosenheider is quoted in an affidavit as saying he didn’t know what was in the safe “but assumed it was child pornography.”

Federal prosecutors said Gagnon tried to access his ex-stepdaughter’s MySpace account “on or about” June 26 from a library computer in Cullman, Vt.

Authorities search landfill for safe

An FBI spokesman says investigators have searched for the safe over the past week.

Gagnon rented a room in San Antonio from Kevin Grosenheider, who according to an affidavit told authorities he threw the safe into an apartment complex garbage bin near his home at Gagnon’s request.

Grosenheider is quoted in an affidavit as saying he didn’t know what was in the safe “but assumed it was child pornography.”


July 13th, 2008 at 12:10am Posted by | abduction, arrested, Brooke Bennett, child welfare, Crime/Murder, Found Deceased, kidnapped, Landfill search, Missing, Missing Children, My, Pictures | one comment

Houston Officials Reverse Decisions, They will Go forward with Landfill Search for Tynesha Stewart , Texas Equusearch to Spearhead Search (UPDATE: No Search, Decision Reversed Again)

Houston officials have done an about face and reversed their initial decision not to search the landfill/landfills for missing Tynesha Stewart.

Authorities in Houston have approved spending up to $500,000 to search area landfills for the remains of a Texas A&M student whose ex-boyfriend confessed to killing her.

The request comes after angry complaints about the decision not to search for the remains of 19-year-old Tynesha Stewart, who disappeared last week.

Officials reversed their initial decisions to not search the landfills due to cost and improbable outcome of not finding her due to pressure and complaints brought up by black local leaders and activists. Personally, the Houston officials were crazy for not going forth with this search from the outset causing racial unrest especially when volunteer search team Texas EquuSearch had stated they would conduct the search at no cost.

Investigators reconsidered after several high-profile complaints from US Representative Sheila Jackson Lee, state Representative Sylvester Turner and community activist Quannel X. (KWTX)

However, the plans go forward to begin the search for Tynesha Stewart as soon as possibly Wednesday.

Plans are underway to conduct a series of searches for Tynesha Stewart, the Texas A&M coed believed to have been killed by her ex-boyfriend. However, those searches may be difficult after word that the 19-year-old’s body may have been dismembered and spread out in landfills across the region.

The volunteer search organization Texas Equusearch announced Friday it was set to launch an extensive search for Stewart. The search could begin as early as Wednesday said Texas Equusearch founder Tim Miller.

On Monday the sheriff’s office, Texas Equusearch and the landfills’ operator Waste Management will meet to go over a plan. Already an area of a landfill in Atascocita had been marked off in preparation for a search. The same was being done at a landfill in Brazoria County. Miller already put out a call for volunteers. (KHOU)

UPDATE I: Houston Authorities reverse Search Decision Again, Authorities call off search for A&M student’s body

Even with Texas EquuSearch’s offer to search for Tynesha Stewart, the authorities have called off the search.

Tim Miller, the director of Texas Equusearch, which had hoped to begin assisting in a search of an Atoscocita-area landfill next week, said he was deeply saddened they would not be able to return Stewart’s body to her family.

“We did everything we could,” he said. “It just wasn’t meant to be.”

Harris County Sheriff’ Tommy Thomas announced Saturday night there will be no search for the body of Tynesha Stewart, the 19-year-old Texas A&M student who was murdered March 15.

“There are no remaining body parts,” Thomas said at a press conference. “We have determined through this investigation that the defendant dismembered the victim and burned her body parts. There is no body to be found. Based on that information, there will be no search. The family is aware of this and they understand.”

Thomas, who called on local media to give the Stewart family privacy, said Timothy Wayne Shepherd burned Stewart’s body in a barbecue grill on his patio at his apartment in the 17700 block of Red Oak in northwest Harris County. (Houston Chronicle)

From the Texas Equusearch Web site …

We are deeply saddened to report that no search for Tynesha’s body will be made. Authorities state there are no remains to be found. We want to thank all of our members that worked so hard, the wonderful people that volunteered, and all the people of the entire community that expressed their concern and wanted so badly to help. The outpouring support came from everywhere and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Please keep Tynesha’s family in your prayers during this time. We want to express a very special thank you to Cindy Wisdom who selfishly devoted all of her energy and time into helping this family. She’s one of our biggest heroes. Thank you and God Bless you all.


March 24th, 2007 at 11:48am Posted by | Crime/Murder, Landfill search, Missing, Missing Teen, Search and Rescue, Texas Equusearch, Tynesha Stewart | no comments

Texas A&M Student Tynesha Stewart Still Missing, Presumed Dead, ex-boyfriend Leads Investigators to Garbage Bins

All Current Updates can be read HERE.

Tynesha Stewart, a 19 year old freshman student at Texas A&M has been missing since last Thursday, March 15, 2007. Tynesha Stewart was last seen between 3:00 and 4:00 pm at her former boy friend,Timothy Shepherd’s, apartment located off of F.M. 1960 on Red Oak Drive. However, it appears that Timothy Shepherd has unofficially confessed to the murder.

Tynesha Stewart

Tynesha Stewart

Timothy Shepherd, Stewart’s ex-boyfriends, previously denied having anything to do with her disappearance but led authorities to a garbage bin at the Polo Club Apartments off Kuykendahl Road in northwest Harris County Wednesday afternoon. Investigators did not find a body in the garbage bin, which they speculate was last emptied on Friday. (My Fox Houston)

TES patch_for_stickers

Texas Equusearch has been involved in the search for Tynesha Stewart.

On Wednesday, Texas EquuSearch volunteers along with friends and family focused their search for Stewart on area creeks. “I was not aware until this morning that they actually did have crime scene in his apartment and had taken some things from the apartment,” EquuSearch volunteer Cindy Wisdom told FOX 26 News.

As per our conversation with Tim Miller, Founder of Texas Equusearch, they plan to search the landfill if all goes according to plan. The trash bins that the ex-boyfriend lead police to had previously been picked up and removed. This creates the arduous task of doing a land fill search.

Tynesha Stewart2

Video of ex-boyfriend confessing to Stewart’s murder and where he put her.

The ex-boyfriend of Tynesha Stewart lead investigators and community activist Quanell X to dumpsters where he claimed to have put her. However, the dumpsters had been picked up since the event occurred.

The ex-boyfriend of a missing Texas A&M student led investigators and community activist Quanell X to the 14600 block of Ella in northwest Harris County, where he pointed out a Dumpster that investigators now believe might have been used to dispose of her body.

The ex-boyfriend has not made any confession, but investigators took custody of the Dumpster and plan to search area landfills for the woman’s body.

Texas A&M University student Tynesha Stewart, 19, was last seen March 15. She was spending spring break at her mother’s apartment in the 17700 block of Red Oak when she left with her ex-boyfriend, authorities said.

Investigators had previously questioned Stewart’s ex-boyfriend, whom they have characterized as “cooperative.” (Houston Chronicle)

Tynesha Stewart has two uncles who play in the NFL, one for the Dallas Cowboys and the other for the Minnesota Vikings. One of whom arrives in Houston to help search for Tynesha.

UPDATE I: Ex-boyfriend charged in death of missing Texas A&M student

A murder charge was filed against the ex-boyfriend of a missing Texas A&M student after he led investigators to a trash container where he allegedly put her body, authorities said.

Timothy Wayne Shepherd, 27, was charged with murder Wednesday in the death of Tynesha Stewart, said Lt. John Denholm of the Harris County Sheriff’s Office homicide division.

Stewart, a 19-year-old college freshman, was last seen with Shepherd on March 15 while she was home for spring break visiting her mother.

Authorities said it will be difficult to find Stewart’s body because the trash bin has been hauled off at least twice since last week and taken to different locations. (The Eagle)

 UPDATE II: Tynesha Stewart Strangled during argument over another Man

“They had a fight about their relationship, and her relationship with a new boyfriend,” said Lt. John Denholm with the Harris County Sheriff’s homicide division. “He said he choked her…He said he put her in a large plastic tote, and then put her in his car and took her to the Dumpster.” (Houston Chronicle)

There has been preliminary discussions as to a landfill search; however, they are usually immense in scale and costly. There is never a guarantee that a body will be found, nor any expectation as to the time it could take to perform.

Stewart’s body, which could be buried under an estimated 50,000 tons of waste and dirt, probably never will be recovered, he said.

Excavating the two landfills where Stewart’s body might be -, one is in the Atoscocita area and the other is in Brazoria County — would run at least $350,000, Denholm said.

And, he said, it would take time and would probably require approval from county officials because taxpayers would likely have to pay for it.

“Any expenditure like that would most likely have to be approved by commissioner’s court,” Denholm said.

Such approval, he said, could delay the search and drive excavation costs up further, as 5,000 to 6,000 tons of waste are hauled to the two sites per day.

Private companies charge $6 to $7 per ton to excavate.

“Even as we speak, hundreds of tons of trash have been dumped, just during this conversation,” he said.

Further complicating the recovery of the body are landfill regulations.

Denholm said Stewart’s family has been told the body probably will not be recovered.

UPDATE III: Family of missing Texas A&M student wants search conducted

Murdered and dumped, and right now there are no plans to even look for the body of a missing Texas A&M student. Meanwhile, her ex-boyfriend sits behind bars this evening, charged with her murder.

We know investigators have not yet searched the two landfills Tynesha Stewart’s body may be in. Tonight the question on Stewart’s mother’s mind is will they?

“We want her body so we can give her a proper burial,” said Gale Shields. “She’s not trash.” (ABC 13)

However, police are not sure whether they are going to do the search due to the shere volume and magnitude of the search.

We’ve learned that dumpster’s contents were likely taken to an Atascocita landfill or possibly to one in Angleton.

“I don’t know that we can positively say that any particular item as gone to either one of those landfills,” said Lt. John Martin of the Harris County Sheriff’s Office.

Because of that and the sheer volume of trash needed to be searched, sheriff’s officials say they are considering not searching the landfills at all. In addition, the search could cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.

“You can see how this is going to be expensive, and there is little confidence that it would even turn up anything,” said Lt. Martin.

March 21st, 2007 at 11:24pm Posted by | Crime/Murder, Landfill search, Missing, Missing College Student, Missing Teen, Pictures, Texas Equusearch, Tynesha Stewart | 9 comments

Remains Found in PA Landfill, Possibly those of John Fiocco Jr

While searching for John Fiocco Jr., human remains were found in a Bucks County, PA landfill. Police have not confirmed whether they are the remains of missing college student John Fiocco Jr.

Police wouldn’t confirm to NBC 10 that the remains were those of John Fiocco Jr., 19, who disappeared on March 25 from the College Of New Jersey.

The remains were discovered at a landfill in Tullytown, Pa.

Fiocco was last seen in his dormitory on March 25 after returning from a party. His roommate reported him missing the next day, and blood identified as his was found a few days later in and around a trash bin outside the dorm.
(NBC 10)

Body Found In Pennsylvania Landfill
Authorities Calling It A ‘Significant Development’ In Case of Missing Student

A body was found today in a Pennsylvania landfill, where authorities were searching for clues about missing College of New Jersey freshman John Fiocco, Jr.

Capt. Al Della Fave said there had been a “significant development” in the missing person’s case of Fiocco, but would not disclose any further information.

A Mercer County Medical Examiner’s Office van was seen pulling up and leaving the landfill, part of which was covered with a blue tarp.

State Police cite ‘significant development’ in Fiocco case

Capt. Al Della Fave said there had been a “significant development” in the missing person’s case of John Fiocco Jr., of Mantua, but would not disclose any further information.

The State Police, however, has scheduled a news conference, tentatively set for Wednesday morning, about the case.
(Courier Post)

April 25th, 2006 at 03:44pm Posted by | Landfill search, Missing, Missing College Student | one comment

Bucks County landfills searched for Missing John Fiocco

The search continues for John Fiocco, a 19-year-old college freshman who went missing on Saturday. John Fiocco attended an off-campus party with friends on Friday night where they had all been drinking.

Mr. Fiocco, of Mantua Township, attended an off-campus party with friends on Friday night where they had all been drinking, the police said. At about 3 a.m., several of them went to a friend’s room on the fourth floor of Wolfe Hall, a freshman dormitory.

When the others awoke later in the morning, Mr. Fiocco was gone, they told police. The next afternoon, one of his friends called campus police to report him missing.

Police also found traces of blood from in and around a dumpster outside a freshman dormitory at the College of New Jersey.

After finding traces of blood in and near the garbage dumpster outside the dorm, they also sent investigators to the landfills in Pennsylvania, because that is where trash from the college is taken after it is compacted in nearby Trenton.
(NY Times)

Investigators are now searching two landfills in Bucks County, PA for the missing John Fiocco.

New Jersey state police say the search of two Bucks County landfills is expected to resume later Monday for the missing College of New Jersey student, John Fiocco.
(KYW News Radio 1060)

Landfills searched for Fiocco

Police started searching two Pennsylvania landfills on Saturday for signs of a missing college freshman from Mantua.

John Fiocco Jr. was last seen in a Wolfe Hall dormitory room at the College of New Jersey at 3 a.m. March 25. He was reported missing roughly 36 hours later.

DNA tests confirmed that blood found in and around a large trash bin outside his dorm at the college belonged to the missing 19-year-old art major.
(Courier Post)

UPDATE (April 4, 2006): Fiocco search frustration

EWING — As investigators sifted through piles of trash yesterday at a Pennsylvania landfill for a sign of John Fiocco Jr., students at his college searched for answers surrounding his mysterious disappearance 10 days ago.
(The Trentonian)

April 3rd, 2006 at 10:27am Posted by | Landfill search, Missing, Missing College Student, Search and Rescue | 2 comments

Police Search Landfill for Jean Zapata in a 3o Year Old Case

Police searched a Juneau County Landfill located near Mauston in pursuit of finding 36 year old Jean Zapata, a 30-year-old missing person case. Jean Zapata mysteriously disappeared from her home in 1976. Police stated they were acting on a tip.

Up to two dozen law enforcement personnel conducted the search and could continue their search throughout the week. An unnamed source close to the case told WISC-TV that detectives are searching the area for human remains.

Police said that they are acting on a tip that led them to the landfill located off Ceylon Road.

The landfill search follows earlier ones where cadaver dogs picked up the scent of decomposing human remains at Zapata’s former Madison home and at a Sun Prairie storage locker last year.
(WISC via Yahoo! News)

March 7th, 2006 at 12:13am Posted by | Landfill search, Missing, Missing Adult | no comments

Search continues in Landfill for Darlene Kay VanderGiesen

Darlene VanderGiesen has been missing since February 1, 2006. During a search of a landfill, body part were found that are thought to be that of the missing Vander Giesen. On Friday, Daphne Antranette Wright was arrested on a murder charge in the disappearance of Darlene Kay VanderGiesen.

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – Body parts believed to be those of a missing woman were found Saturday as a search continued at the Sioux Falls landfill, police said.
On Friday, Daphne Antranette Wright, 42, was arrested on a murder charge in the disappearance of Darlene Kay VanderGiesen, 42.

The Sioux Falls women, both of whom are deaf, knew each other, police said.
VanderGiesen has been missing since Feb. 1.

The search at the landfill was to continue Sunday, according to police.
(Aberdeen News)

February 12th, 2006 at 09:58pm Posted by | Landfill search, Missing, Missing Adult | no comments

Daphne Wright Arrested and Charged with Murder of Darlene VanderGiesen

Daphne Wright was arrested and charged with first degree murder of missing Darlene VanderGiesen. Authorities have been searching the landfill for the missing VanderGiesen as they believe she may have been dumped in the trash.

Court papers indicate that Daphne Wright removed carpet and cement blocks from a basement bedroom at her home. Her roommate told police that Wright had left the house with a large plastic garbage bag and may have put the items in a dumpster in the neighborhood.

The home of suspect Daphne Wright was also searched according to court documents and from items found she was arrested.

There, according to court papers, police found samples of human bone, muscle and fat. They matched the DNA from those samples to the DNA of Darlene VanderGiesen. “Evidence found so far has supported an arrest warrant for Miss Wright,” says Sioux Falls Police Chief Doug Barthel.

Court papers show the two women are deaf and knew each other, but the relationship was anything but friendly. Days before VanderGiesen went missing, police say Wright sent VanderGiesen a demeaning and profane message. Wright thought her girlfriend was cheating on her with VanderGiesen.


February 11th, 2006 at 08:16pm Posted by | arrested, Crime/Murder, Landfill search, Missing, Missing Adult | one comment

Search Continues for Missing IL Student, Olamide Adeyooye. (Landfill Searched)

According to the UPI, police in Illinois searched a landfill after finding items belonging to a missing university student, Olamide Adeyooye, near a dumpster.

Olamide Adeyooye, a student at Illinois State University in Bloomington, Ill., vanished Oct. 13. Her car also was missing. Police have been searching for her green 1996 Toyota.

Investigators say documents with Adeyooye’s name on them were found near the dumpster, which was close to her apartment in Berkeley. Nothing was found in the landfill search.

Police were questioning a number of people identified as “persons of interest” but say they have no suspects.

As also reported by the Chicago Tribune, Landfill checked in hunt for missing student as personal items belonging to Olamide Adeyooye were found earlier this week near a trash dumpster within close proximity to the missing Illinois State student’s apartment.

Personal items found earlier this week near a trash dumpster not far from the apartment of missing Illinois State University student Olamide Adeyooye led police to search a landfill in Bloomington, police said Friday.

Police Lt. Mark Kotte said the items were documents with her name, but declined to be more specific. No evidence was found at the dump, he said.

Police have stated that there are several persons of interest; however, none at the time are considered suspects.

Police have identified six to eight “persons of interest” and are in the process of tracking them down and interviewing them, Kotte said. No arrest warrants have been issued, and none of those people is considered a suspect, he said.

Adeyooye’s financial and telephone records have been subpoenaed as have e-mails she sent and received in the weeks before her disappearance.

Illinois State Police officers continued using a plane to search the shallows of area lakes and irrigation ponds for Adeyooye’s car, a green 1996 Toyota Corolla with an Illinois license LBG 927.

Related Posts:
Olamide Adeyooye, 21-year-old Illinois State University student Missing

October 22nd, 2005 at 10:31pm Posted by | Landfill search, Missing, Missing Adult, Olamide Adeyooye | 3 comments