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Around 10:30 p.m. Saturday, February 9, 2008, Benjamin “Ben” Roseland left a friend’s house in the 400 block of 10th Avenue South, Clinton, Iowa, to walk a few blocks to a Hy-Vee grocery store located in the 900 block of South 4th Street.
The 19-year-old never made it to the store.
He was last seen wearing a short-sleeved brown polo shirt, blue jeans, camouflage bib coveralls, white socks and brown camouflage-print sneakers. He took none of his personal belongings.
A large group of volunteers searched the area east and south near where Ben disappeared. A shoe was located in a vacant yard at the corner of 13th Avenue South and 3rd Street, and a short time later, its mate found sitting on top a snow bank on the street’s east side. Ben’s mother indicated Benjamin wore a pair of shoes similar to the make, style, color and shoe size of those found.
This information launched a more intensive search in the area east of 13th Avenue South and 3rd Street, and involved officers from the Clinton Police Department, the Clinton County Sheriff’s Office, the Iowa State Patrol and the Clinton Fire Department.
In addition, the Eko-Sar K-9 Search and Rescue team was activated to assist in the search, and ADM security also assisted in the search of their property. The MED FORCE aero medical helicopter pilot — assisted by a Clinton police officer as spotter — flew over the area where Benjamin was last seen, and though the Clinton Fire Department attempted to put a rescue boat in the water, the venture proved unsuccessful due to surface conditions at the 5th Street boat ramp.
No additional items were found in the area.
There has been no activity on Roseland’s cell phone or bank account, and his friends have stated they have no knowledge of his whereabouts.
At the time he went missing, Roseland was a Clinton Community College student and resided with his parents in the 1900 block of Pershing Boulevard.
The previous winter, Roseland sustained a fractured skull in a car accident that left him with a vertical scar extending from his lower lip to his chin, a scar on the right side of his mouth, a scar on the left side of his nose and a scar on his chest’s upper left side. He had missed some school as a result of his injuries.
Another person had been injured in the winter accident, and Roseland was charged with driving on a suspended license and failure to stop within a safe distance. The case was still pending when Roseland went missing.
The teen’s loved ones stated he was remorseful over his role in the accident and would not have fled to avoid charges against him. He didn’t own a car, but left behind a significant amount of money in his bank account. He’d been saving since age eight and hoped to put a down payment on a house, but already had paid $5,000 to an attorney for representation.
Roseland’s family said it was uncharacteristic of him to leave without warning.
Photos in a moving YouTube video (see below) illuminate a close-knit family devastated by the young man’s disappearance. And in a June 2008 Clinton Herald article, the teen’s younger sister Helen describes how their cat, Felix, lies on her brother Ben’s bed, still missing him.
Ben Roseland’s whereabouts and his case remain unsolved.
Anyone with information regarding Benjamin Roseland’s unsolved disappearance is encouraged to contact Sgt. Richard Mojeiko at the Clinton Police Department at (563) 243-1457 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
You may also contact the Missing Person Information Clearinghouse / Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation at 1-800-346-5507 or Crime Stoppers (anonymously) at 1-888-883-8015.