Body found in Crawford Co. landfill believed to be missing Mt. Gilead teen

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MOUNT GILEAD, OH (WCMH) — Police continued to investigate Wednesday after a body was found in a landfill in Bucyrus Tuesday afternoon.

While the body has yet to be identified, it’s believed to be that of a missing teenager. For now, police are still treating it as a missing person case.

Residents here are mourning.

“My heart goes out to them it really does,” said Scott DePhillips. “I would hate for one of my kids to have something like that happen.”

Jennifer Smith says her daughter started hearing about the tragic news from friends on social media.

“I hope the community pulls together and helps support this family because I couldn’t imagine if that was my own child,” Smith said.

For Mount Gilead Police Chief Brian Zerman, this case started first thing Monday morning.

“Mom called in and told us her son was missing,” Zerman said.

The missing boy was Skylar Bentley, 14, last seen by his family on Sunday night.
A photo of him was posted on the Ohio Attorney General’s website. Zerman said all signs indicated Bentley was missing.

“Cellphone was still at home, book bag was still at home,” Zerman said. “Other than that, we really didn’t have a lot of information.”

A search near his home by a K-9 and officers turned up nothing. But police then learned about security camera footage from Mount Gilead Middle School that would lead them to search elsewhere.

The video showed Bentley getting into a dumpster at the rear of the school about 5:15 Tuesday morning, according to Zerman. The video never showed Bentley getting back out before a garbage truck came to empty the dumpster a couple of hours later.

Mount Gilead police enlisted help from the Crawford and Morrow County Sheriff’s Offices, Galion police and the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation, searching through hundreds of tons of trash at the Crawford County landfill in Bucyrus. There, they found a body.

“The clothing that was on the body matches,” Zerman said. “It was a male that was found.”

The body was taken to the Crawford County Coroner for an autopsy. It has yet to be positively identified. Zerman said no foul play is suspected. 

“It’s just a very tragic event that unfortunately, we may never have all the answers,” Zerman said.

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