San Diego

SDPD Announces Arrest in Thanksgiving Missing Person Case

A National City man was in custody Tuesday, accused of killing a man who was reported as missing in the days after Thanksgiving.

Brian Hancock, 47, faces charges of murder in the disappearance of 68-year-old Peter Bentz.

Bentz was reported missing on Dec. 7 after he failed to attend Thanksgiving dinner at a relative’s home.

The last time Bentz was seen alive was on Nov. 19 at Dog Beach. He was expected to travel to San Pedro to visit family for Thanksgiving. When he didn’t arrive, a missing person report was filed, police said.

Hancock was in custody on another matter, police said, and pleaded not guilty to charges associated with Bentz' death Tuesday afternoon. He is being held on $2 million bond.

No details were released on how Bentz was killed or what evidence led investigators to Hancock’s arrest. Police say they have yet to find Bentz' body.

A close friend of Bentz', Lurece Hunter, managed the apartment complex in Ocean Beach where he lived for 23 years.

Hunter spent Tuesday night reeling through photos of Bentz from complex holiday parties over the years. Sher said Bentz loved the beach, which is why he lived just blocks away from it for almost a quarter century.

"He cared about people and we cared about him," Hunter said. "Such a cruel way to do it, and not knowing for so long where he is or what he is doing."

Hunter said she'd never seen Hancock on the complex property

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