Local News

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

Posted June 18, 2008 4:03 p.m. EDT
Updated June 24, 2008 6:24 p.m. EDT

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.