Remains found in rural Jefferson County could be connected to the disappearance of a Woodstock woman, authorities announced Dec. 14.

More than seven years after Woodstock’s Benedetta “Beth” Bentley went missing, police believe they have discovered human remains in the downstate area where she was last seen.

Bentley disappeared in 2010 after traveling to southern Illinois. The 41-year-old woman was expected to return home to Woodstock after reportedly being dropped off by a friend at a Centralia Amtrak station on May 23, 2010. When she didn’t return, Bentley’s family reported her missing, and police subsequently opened up a missing person case.

The Woodstock Police Department and the Illinois State Police announced a development in the investigation led ISP authorities to a location in rural Jefferson County, near where Bentley was last seen.

Suspected human remains and other evidence were found in the area, police said.

“Investigators are attempting to positively identify the remains, which were badly burned,” the ISP said in a press release.

A state police spokesman would not comment further on the investigation because the case is open.

Anyone with information about the disappearance of Bentley is asked to call the ISP at 618-542-2171 or the WPD at 815-338-2131.

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