Imagine taking your family on an epic 2 week camping holiday. It will be awesome! You are able to pick up an old motorhome and a small boat to pack on the roof. Three generations of your family will be going on this trip, and you are really looking forward to it.
This is what the Bentley had planned in the summer of 1982. George, 66, and Edith Bentley, 59, their daughter Jackie Johnson, 40, son-in-law Bob, 44, and grandchildren Janet, 13, and Karen, 11 all traveled from their home in Kelowna to Wells Gray Provincial Park, roughly a 3 and a half-hour drive.
After the 2 weeks passed, Bob failed to return from work. This set off some red flags for his co-workers because, in his 20 years of employment, Bob had never missed a day of work. His worried co-workers called the RCMP who began a search for the missing family.
Centering around Wells Gray Park the massive search failed to find any trace of the family. It wasn’t till about a month after failing to return from their trip that a mushroom picker reported that he saw an old burned-out vehicle in the woods that looked similar to the vehicle that Bob drove.
The RCMP were able to find the vehicle with the help of that mushroom picker and made a gruesome discovery; inside the vehicle were the incinerated remains of the four missing adults. The true horror would be found when the officers opened the trunk of the car and discovered the remains of the two young girls, but there wasn’t much left. Whoever had killed the girls used an accelerant on the bodies.
Despite an intense search, they weren’t able to locate the camper that the Bentley family had traveled in. Police received a tip that the camper was seen heading east and 2 french speaking males had been driving it. Police assumed because they were french-speaking that the men were heading to Quebec.
In order to generate more tips for the investigation, police recreated the camper — complete with the aluminum boat on top — and traveled the country to get more info. Unfortunately, the effort didn’t result in any tips.
It wouldn’t be for over a year that a couple of forestry workers found the camper and reported it to RCMP. It had been burned just like Bob’s…