A man jailed on a fraud charge has refused to talk to law enforcement officials about a case involving a pair of severed legs found in a trash bin.
Robert Eugene Bennett, 51 - who is in the Salt Lake County Jail on a federal Social Security fraud charge - was interrogated Tuesday morning by Sheriff Pete Hayward and two homicide detectives, but to no avail.He refused to answer all questions about Larry Duane White, 52, who is believed to be the person whose legs were found Feb. 22 in a trash bin behind Smith's Food King, 851 E. 45th South. The rest of the body has not been found.
White, originally of Indiana, was living in an Avenues apartment with his father, who reported him missing Feb. 21.
Bennett was the last known acquaintance of White, an unemployed free-lance writer. The two men reportedly played chess together and were planning to start work at a telemarketing firm the week White disappeared.
After the discovery of the legs, which were severed with near surgical precision just above mid-thigh, detectives were unable to locate Bennett. But local authorities were able to file federal charges. Police picked him up in Las Vegas earlier this month and brought him to Salt Lake City.
Bennett has not only refused to answer questions about the severed legs case, but issued stern "no comment" replies to questions about his car, his residences or where his relatives live, said Bennett's attorney, Robert Van Sciver.
"He's very street smart. He's been living underground for 11 years now as a suspect in his wife's death and he knows better than to talk. He really doesn't need defense attorneys," Van Sciver said.
Bennett's wife, Floy Jean Bennett, mysteriously disappeared on Feb. 22, 1978, in Beaverton, Ore. She is presumed dead, although investigators have no evidence. Bennett was questioned numerous times in her disappearance after her car turned up in the driveway of the couple's home two days after her disappearance.