Runaway Train: Wilda Benoit

          Our next Runaway Train case is another with precious little detail. Wilda Benoit went missing from a very small town in Louisiana. She wasn’t exactly in a state of mind to plan to run away, so why was she classified as doing so? Let’s explore.

Who Is Wilda?

          I wasn’t able to find anything regarding who Wilda was as a person prior to her disappearance. If you knew her, please feel free to comment on this post or email me. I would love to put more information out there. Wilda should be known as more than the day she disappeared. What I do know is that Wilda was born on January 13, 1978. She was around 5’ tall and weighed around 100 lbs at the time of her disappearance. Wilda has brown hair, blue eyes, and dimples. Her ears are each pierced once.

The Disappearance

          Wilda was last seen in her home in Creole, Louisiana on July 23, 1992. She had just been released from a nearby hospital after suffering an injury to her shoulder. She was still wearing the gown from the hospital, and she was under the influence of painkillers that sedated her and affected her cognitive function.

(A photo of of Wilda taken shortly before her disappearance.
via the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children)

The Investigation

          Again, Wilda was ruled a runaway right away (we’re seeing a pattern here, right?). Despite the fact that Wilda had just been released from the hospital. Despite the fact that she was under the influence of prescribed painkillers. Despite the fact that she was wearing only a hospital gown. Despite the fact that she took nothing with her. It makes no sense. Her family never believed that this was correct.

Theories

          It seems that there are two theories here – either Wilda wandered away voluntarily or was lured away while under the influence of the painkillers she was prescribed for her shoulder injury. If she was under the influence of truly strong painkillers, she would have been out of it, and really anything could have caught her attention outside. She could have easily gotten lost after wandering away. From there, it’s possible that the wrong person saw that she was vulnerable and took advantage. It’s also possible that she lost her life as the result of an accident – looking at Creole, there are several waterways that she may have stumbled into. Or perhaps someone knocked on the door and she answered it, dressed in her hospital gown, and they realized how vulnerable she truly was. It’s truly impossible to tell with what we know.

(An age progression of Wilda to age 37.
via the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children)

Investigating Agencies

          If you or someone you know has information about what happened to Wilda Benoit on or after July 23, 1992, please contact the Cameron Parish Sheriff’s Office. They can be reached at 337-775-5111 in reference to case number 923239. Wilda’s National Crime Information Center case number is M580197779, and her NamUs case number is 4049. Wilda has been missing for nearly 30 years. It’s time to bring her home, in whatever way possible.

Sources

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