Police seek cause of death of race fan found near Talladega


With her body now having been recovered, police are waiting for forensic tests to determine the cause of death of a woman who disappeared while reportedly on her way to watch the NASCAR race at Talladega Superspeedway last month.

According to police reports, Theresa Benn, 42, disappeared in the early morning of Oct. 19, several hours before the Geico 500.

Benn was the second race fan reportedly heading to Talladega to attend a race to go missing within the last 18 months.

Georgia resident Nicholas Bower disappeared prior to the May 2013 race and was also eventually found in creek waters near the racetrack, 10 days after he went missing.

Police have said there is no connection between the deaths or with the racetrack as a whole,

MORE: Talladega mystery: Did missing woman even make it to NASCAR race? Second fan to disappear in 18 months

A volunteer from a search party discovered the remains of Benn’s body last Saturday (Nov. 22) in Choccolocco Creek in the Jackson Shoals area of Lincoln, Alabama.

The discovery of Benn’s remains were discovered approximately one mile east of the speedway and close to where she was last seen, near the intersection of Eastaboga Road and Speedway Boulevard, according to WIAT TV.

The area had been previously combed in prior searches, but this time the body of the mother of three was located.

“After the description of the clothing, there was no doubt in anybody’s mind that it was her, but of course you have to wait for positive identification,” Tim Miller, the founder and director of Equusearch, a national organization that was brought in to expand the search for Benn, told WIAT TV. ”(I) was kind of surprised in (a) ways that she was even that close.”

Equusearch is based in Texas and had come to the area to search for Benn after a request by Lincoln police. While searchers expected to be in the area for several days, Benn’s remains were located within a few hours of the start of the search, Miller said.

Benn’s remains are being analyzed for cause of death by the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences, but media reports indicate there were no signs of trauma or wounds to the body.

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X44 Racing win 2022 Extreme E championship as Abt Cupra score first race victory

2022 Extreme E Uruguay
Extreme E

Abt Cupra Racing’s Nasser Al-Attiyah and Klara Andersson scored their first win in the Extreme E Energy X Prix in the 2022 finale in Uruguay as Lewis Hamilton’s X44 Vida Carbon Racing drivers Sebastien Loeb and Cristina Gutierrez survived a chaotic finale to edge the 2021 champion Rosberg X Prix team of Johan Kristoffersson and Mikhaela Ahlin-Kottulinsky, by two points.

“There are so many emotions,” Andersson said in Extreme E’s coverage. “I’ve been waiting for this for so long. In my second race, first full weekend to be at the top of the podium: it’s big.”

Andersson was behind the wheel at the finish.

Rosberg Racing entered the event with a 17-point advantage over X44, but the standings were close enough that four teams remained in contention in Round 5.

“It’s a crucial weekend for us,” Loeb said in Extreme E’s coverage prior to the race. “We are not in the best position to win the championship, but the only thing we can do is try to win the race and score as many points as possible.”

The top two title contenders each crashed in qualification and were relegated to the Crazy Race, Extreme E’s version of the Last Chance Qualifier (LCQ). For the moment, they had the steepest hill to climb, but then the other two championship contending teams, Chip Ganassi Racing and Acciona Sainz Racing failed to advance from their heats.

Only one team advances from the Crazy Race, so the X44 drivers were in a must-win situation to simply keep hope alive.

More: Extreme E 2023 schedule

Ahlin-Kottulinsky and Gutierrez ran wheel to wheel into the first turn at the start of the LCQ.

The Rosberg racer experienced crash damage in that turn that damaged her front steering, but managed to limp back to the pits at the end of her two-lap stint. The team attempted to fix the steering, but incurred a penalty for having too many mechanics in the pit area.

Meanwhile, Gutierrez took the early lead, but knew she would need to sit through a five-second penalty for an incident earlier in the weekend. The female half of the gender equal pair erased the penalty by entering the Switch Zone with a five-second lead before turning the car over to Loeb.

That was all the nine-time World Rally Championship titlist needed to give him the advantage needed to win the Crazy Race.

But the championship was not over yet. X44 Racing needed to finish third or better in the five-car finale to earn enough points for the title and after advancing from the LCQ, they were forced to take the worst grid position.

A chaotic start to the Finale saw Loeb run as high the lead and low as fourth after getting pushed off course during his first lap. And that is how he entered to Switch Zone.

On her first lap, Gutierrez slammed into Molly Taylor. With one lap remaining, X44 and Gutierrez were still in fourth and the title hope was quickly evaporating, but it was announced halfway through the lap that the third-running Andretti United team would suffer a penalty for a Switch Zone infraction. The seven-second deduction for Timmy Hansen braking too late in the zone made the difference in the title.

Coming off a disappointing Copper X Prix when Tanner Foust and Emma Gilmour crossed under the checkers first, but were relegated to fifth by penalty, the McLaren pair scored their first podium of the season in second.