Bendele, Richard W. – Blaine County – 1996

Richard Willis Bendele, 29, went missing after a hunting trip north of Rupert near the Laidlaw Corral area. His mother last heard from Richard around 6PM on Sunday, Nov. 17, 1996, when he called to say his truck stalled on a lonely desert road. He has not been seen since. His vehicle was located in the Laidlaw Corral area.  At the time, Richard worked at J.R. Simplot in Heyburn.

Searchers from Blaine, Lincoln and Minidoka Counties participated in his search, since his disappearance essentially straddled where the three counties come together. His place of business generously supplied a helicopter to help with the search, to no avail.

Richard was in the process of a divorce and had two children. Family members said he would not up and disappear, as the rumor mill would have it, and never leave his children.

According to the Idaho Repository, he was declared legally dead by the courts in 2002.

If you have information about this case, contact the Blaine County Sheriff’s Office. 

View his NamUs entry


Richard Bendele – The Charley Project

Magic Valley’s Unsolved Missing Person Cases

1996 Bendele 2
1996 Bendele