LONG PRAIRIE, Minn. — The 22-year-old adopted son of a former NFL and Concordia College defensive lineman and his wife has been charged with two counts of second-degree murder in their shooting deaths at the family's rural Long Prairie home.
Dylan John Bennett is still on the run and is believed to have fled to Cancun, Mexico.
Police are asking the public for assistance in locating Dylan Bennett, 22, after his parents, Barry Bennett and Carol Bennett, both 63, were found dead Wednesday, Aug. 21. It's believed they were shot during the morning or afternoon hours of Monday, Aug. 19.
Long Prairie, a town of about 3,500 people, is about 30 miles northeast of Alexandria.
In charges filed Friday, it was reported that Barry Bennett had told Todd County sheriff officials last December that his son while in a mental health treatment facility "had expressed homicidal thoughts about killing his parents."
After the deaths were found Wednesday, a law enforcement investigator reported they found a vehicle in a motel parking lot that had been driven by Dylan Bennett in Columbus, Ohio, where a plane ticket was purchased and used for a Wednesday flight from Columbus to Atlanta and then to Cancun.
Based on usage of a cellphone, the investigator said it was believed Dylan Bennett was in Mexico on Thursday.
The bodies of his parents were discovered after the Todd County's sheriff's office received a call about 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday from a friend of Barry Bennett. He said Bennett, a retired physical education teacher and coach at the Long Prairie-Grey Eagle school, hadn't returned his texts or call since Tuesday.
The investigator said the couple died of gunshot wounds. Barry Bennett was found in the entryway to the home, while his wife was found on the kitchen floor.
It was discovered that a vehicle used by Carol Bennett was missing.
Dylan Bennett's car was still at the home and the investigator said they found an empty box for a 9mm handgun, a box for 9mm ammunition and loose 9mm rounds on the seat of the vehicle.
Police also learned that debit and credit cards of Carol Bennett were used at locations in Wisconsin, Illinois and Ohio on Monday through Wednesday. Additionally, the charges said a large sum of cash was withdrawn from an account belonging to the couple on Monday about 9 a.m. at a Long Prairie bank.
Police also stated that Dylan Bennett had met a person in Columbus prior to the flight and had given them a 9mm handgun to hold for him, according to the charges.
Autopsies on the couple were performed Thursday and Friday and it was found that Carol Bennett had multiple gunshot wounds to her back and torso. Her husband had multiple gunshot wounds to his torso and head, said the report. It was determined the cause of death was homicide.
Barry Bennett, who was raised in St. Paul, played 11 seasons in the NFL, mostly for the New Orleans Saints and New York Jets and for a short time with the Vikings. He played for Concordia in Moorhead under longtime coach Jim Christopherson from 1974 to 1978. He was then drafted in the fourth round by the Saints.
He was also a national champion wrestler, winning three national titles in the NAIA and NCAA Division III tourneys.
Bennett was also inducted into the Concordia College Athletic Hall of Fame in 1989.
Christopherson told The Forum on Thursday night that he and his wife were "stunned" and "found it hard to understand."
He said he hunted deer with Bennett in recent years.
"They were quality people," he said about the Bennetts.
Christopherson said the couple raised four children and adopted two, including Dylan, who Christopherson said had just graduated from Bemidji State University and had found a job in China.
Bennett, who retired just a few years ago, coached wrestling and football at Long Prairie, said Christopherson.