Mystery surrounds man with amnesia found wandering - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Union County, IL

Mystery surrounds man with amnesia found wandering

Mystery surrounds man with amnesia found wandering
By: CJ Cassidy

UNION COUNTY, Ill. - Police usually search for missing people. This time they find a person - now they're searching for clues into his past. Investigators say how and why a Logansport, Indiana man ended up in Union County is still very much a mystery.

Just imagine realizing you're lost in the middle of the Shawnee National Forest, and on top of that not knowing who you are or where you are from.

The Union County Sheriff says that's what happened to Devon Benn, who he found wandering around the woods Tuesday evening, hundreds of miles away from his Indiana home. The sheriff says Benn was barefoot and he's lucky he wasn't bitten by a poisonous snake. "It appears to be amnesia," Sheriff David Livesay says.

That's why Livesay immediately called for help to have Devon Benn taken to a hospital for a mental evaluation. "He can read, he can do mathematical equations. He can speak. He just doesn't remember," he says.

Investigators tracked down Benn's identity after coming across a car with Indiana plates about four miles away from where Benn was found. Turns out he was supposed to meet his brother Monday night. Instead, his brother says Benn apparently borrowed a car from a friend and drove more than five hours to Southern Illinois -to an area he'd camped out at in the past. "We knew he had used his ATM and he'd bought some water with that," according to Livesay.

But no one knows when Benn might have started losing his memory. Benn's family members say he recently suffered some personal problems, and they wonder if that may have caused his memory loss.

Something Sheriff Livesay says adds to the mystery. "We're not ruling out anything. Our investigation continues. That is why we are taking steps to talk to Indiana officials, and doing background checks making sure nothing has occurred between here and Indiana or Indiana before he left," Livesay says.

The doctor who's treating Devon Benn at the Union County Hospital tells me they first rule out any physical trauma, and then look to psychological causes, when trying to determine what triggers amnesia.

He says people often block out unpleasant memories, and it take could hours or days for it to come back. He also says it could happen to anyone, but getting counseling for traumatic events could help prevent amnesia.

Powered by Frankly