‘Why this, why to them’: Son of slain couple searches for answers as brother faces murder charges

Published: Sep. 15, 2020 at 7:13 PM EDT
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LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. (WYMT) - We are learning more about a Laurel County murder that left two people dead and one charged in the case.

Updated 5:30 p.m. 9-16-2020

Police say just before 5 p.m. Tuesday, a family member found Johnny Benge, 69, and his wife Mary, 66, dead in their home on Tomcat Trail just outside London.

Investigators say they were found in the living room with multiple gunshot wounds. Both were pronounced dead at the scene. Their bodies were taken to Frankfort for an autopsy.

“When we got there, we found two deceased individuals, deceased from two gunshot wounds, so we knew we had something very serious," said Gilbert Acciardo with the Laurel County Sheriff’s Department.

Following a statewide manhunt for the suspect, the couple’s son, Joseph Benge, 40, was found and arrested in Mayfield Tuesday night.

Wednesday morning, Laurel County sheriff’s deputies traveled to Western Kentucky to pick up Benge and bring him back to Laurel County.

The couple’s other son, Johnny Ray Benge, returned to his family’s house Wednesday afternoon and is still processing what happened there the day before.

“It’s not real yet. I guess I’m the kind of person to shift to the business stuff, what am I going to do with this, what am I going to do with their church, you know what I mean," said Johnny Ray Benge.

He has questions of why this, why to them, but his faith brings him back to one reminder.

“Like the song says Jesus take the wheel, he’s got my wheel," said Johnny Ray Benge.

And he knows his parents are in a better place.

Following the arrest of Joseph Benge and the impounding of his 2015 white Ford Taurus, a search warrant was obtained by Laurel County Sheriff’s investigators.

Officers recovered a handgun in the passenger compartment with the accused as well as two shotguns, a .22 caliber rifle and body armor.

Benge is charged with two counts of murder, robbery and theft by unlawful taking.

He is being held in the Laurel County Correctional Center.

Updated 11:30 p.m. 9-15-2020

Police say Benge was caught by Kentucky State Police in Mayfield, Kentucky Tuesday night.

Original Story 7:15 p.m. 9-15-2020

A man is wanted in a double murder that happened Tuesday afternoon off Tomcat Trail.

Deputies say 40-year-old Joseph L. Benge fled the scene in a white Ford Taurus. The Kentucky license plate reads 118WFS.

Police say he is considered dangerous.

To report a tip, call Laurel County Sheriff’s Office at (606) 864-6600.

Unlike the photo, he currently has no beard or mustache.

Suspect in Double Murder
Suspect in Double Murder(Laurel County Sheriff's Office)
Car of Suspect in Double Murder
Car of Suspect in Double Murder(Laurel County Sheriff's Office)

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