One year later: where does the investigation into the unsolved murder of Benjamin Anderson stand?
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - A missing person, a car pursuit, and a body found burned in the rural desert. The bizarre disappearance and murder of Benjamin Anderson have now gripped the Phoenix community for one year.
It was last New Year’s Eve when this crazy case began. With no arrests made, his best friends are doing everything they can to keep his memory alive while waiting for answers and justice. When the clock struck midnight to ring in 2022, Dan Stahoviak turned to his friends, stunned at the situation. “I remember saying to everybody in the car, you know, happy new year. What the hell are we doing?” Stahoviak recalled.
Their group of friends called 41-year-old Benjamin Anderson one of the best people they knew. So when he seemingly disappeared on New Year’s Eve last year, they immediately searched along with law enforcement. They tracked his car’s navigation first to a Super 8 off I-17, then to a Sheraton parking garage, thanks to help from Lexus with pinged coordinates. “They told us essentially not to worry - the car is mobile. It’s moving,” Stahoviak remembered Lexus telling them in real-time. “Maybe he’s just driving his car and his phone is dead.”
But Stahoviak and friends said three strangers were driving Ben’s car. They said the unknown people led them on a pursuit, but they stopped fearing for their safety, only to later find the car burned in a college parking lot with no signs of Ben. “I felt that he...I felt that he was dead,” Ben’s friend Susan Dzbanko said.
According to law enforcement, they got a call for a body on fire around 1:40 p.m. on Dec. 31 in the rural desert off Table Mesa Road, and the I-17 after a man in the area to shoot targets saw the fire and called 911. It was identified as Benjamin Anderson’s body only through DNA and dental records. “The detective said you do not want to see this body. It’s unrecognizable,” Stahoviak said through tears.
With no arrests and little to no new information than they had 12 months ago, his friends are honoring Ben this weekend by doing what he would have done, by packing bags and delivering them to the homeless, a cause near and dear to Ben’s heart. “It’s about what he would have done and what would have made him comfortable, making sure people had things they needed,” said Stahoviak.
Hindsight may be 20/20, but Stahoviak finds himself reflecting on a question Ben asked him three days before he was murdered. “If you could know when you’re going to die, would you want to know? He just randomly asked us that question,” Stahoviak remembered.
While Stahoviak does not believe Ben knew his life was in danger, he does believe this was a targeted attack on his best friend. “The way that they disposed and burned and mutilated his body. Somebody was angry, and I think...it was personal,” Stahoviak said.
Arizona’s Family has asked the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office for updates on this case repeatedly. They have not revealed any more details on where the investigation stands and did not get back to us with any answers Friday. If you have any information on the homicide of Benjamin Anderson, please call MCSO.
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