Local News

Amber Alert issued for 17-year-old taken at knifepoint

Posted June 18, 2008
Updated June 24, 2008

Amber Alert

— State authorities have issued an Amber Alert for a 17-year-old from Rockingham County, who is believed to have been abducted at knifepoint.

William Alexander Benitez is Hispanic, approximately 5 feet 7 inches tall, and weighs about 162 pounds. He has black hair, brown eyes and was last seen wearing a blue-striped shirt and jeans.

Authorities are searching for Antonio Dejesus Granado, 18. Granado is described as Hispanic, with brown hair and eyes, 5 feet 6 inches tall and weighing 138 pounds.

Dean Venable, a spokesman for the Rockingham County Sheriff's Office, said two carloads of people forced their way into Benitez's Madison home at about 1 a.m. Wednesday, taking a knife from the kitchen and some money and other belongings from the home. An Amber Alert issued earlier by the Department of Crime Control and Public Safety said the alleged abduction happened at about 1 p.m.

After threatening a few other people in the home with the knife, they took Benitez and fled in their vehicles, Venable said.

"We have no idea for a motive," he said. "We do not know where he's at. We do not know whether he's in harm's way, although we assume that he is given the nature of the way that he was taken."

The two were last seen in a black Honda Civic with Texas license plate DPX-090. The car was later found wrecked and abandoned in a parking lot in Guilford County, Venable said.

Authorities now believe the teen and his alleged abductor are traveling in either a light-colored Honda Accord or red vehicle, unknown make and model. Venable said they could be traveling with other people.

The two were last seen traveling on U.S. Highway 220 South and could be headed to Houston.

Anyone with information about the case should call 911, the state Highway Patrol at *HP or the Rockingham County Sheriff`s Office at 336-634-3030 or 336-634-7370.

The sheriffs office said they don't know of any relation or connection between Benitez and the suspects. He said one of the witnesses inside the home was a distant cousin to one of the suspects.


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  • taylor boy Jun 19, 2008

    I cant believe this, the boy is taller and heavier than his abductor, he should at his earliest convenience, pull a James West or a Gen Patton and light him up. An immediate frontal assault, disrupt the man, and take control of his freedom.

  • jjslilred Jun 19, 2008

    Crisp, seriously? You think that you could fend for yourself if someone came at you with a knife? I pray that such a thing would never happen to you, but I just think you should try having a bit of compassion and understanding for this kid (p.s. a 17 year old is still a kid) and his family.

  • tcwife Jun 19, 2008

    "Again, an Amber Alert should be issued only in the most dire of circumstances involving the abduction of a young child whose life in in emminent danger and the sense of urgency calles for immediate national notification. It should not be used as a missing childrens network." - Steve Crisp

    Mr. Crisp obviously doesn't understand that anytime someone is abducted it is a dire circumstance and since they were abducted one could only assume that they are in emminant danger.

    Just think if the Amber Alert system had been in place longer than it has how many lives might have been saved and we would not have so many missing children.

  • Adelinthe Jun 19, 2008

    Steve Crisp - I disagree with you simply because this boy was not yet 18. (If they aren't old enough to serve in the military, they're young enough to deserve a child's protection.)

    Praying for this child and for his loved ones. Praying for God to touch the hearts of his captors to keep him safe and release him NOW.

    God bless.

    Rev. RB

  • FaceDown-AKA_Maggie Jun 19, 2008

    Glad you are not in charge Steve. If someone took off with my child I would want an Amber alert. How can you say they are not in eminent danger if you don't know? And further more since when is someone being kidnapped at knife-point not eminent danger? Where are you from? Are you not aware that stabbings occur everyday?

  • tarheelalum Jun 19, 2008

    So they were in the home for 12 hours before leaving with the boy? Thats a long time! What were they doing?????

  • Con Amor Jun 19, 2008

    Something just doesnt add up with me on this. I pray that this boy was not taken by a group of teenagers who only want to do harm to him. I realy hope for his sake, that this is some stupid teenage stunt and that he is realy safe.

  • PeaceOut2017 Jun 19, 2008

    I'll keep an eye out

  • ShareTheRoad Jun 18, 2008

    QT...ooh, i saw that expose that you are talking about, or maybe a different one with similar content. little girl crying that she was lost, etc. nobody paid her any mind. what the heck? can you even imagine? its sad how many people turn a blind eye to things going on right in front of them.

  • rmgirl Jun 18, 2008

    What happened between 1am when they broke in and 1pm...the time of the abduction??