EVANSVILLE, In. (WEHT) — Over a 24-hour period, calls flooded into tiplines and 911 reporting sightings of Jacob Bengert as police continued their search. You can hear some of those in the video above.
In the end, police took Bengert into custody on the train track, but the community had a big hand in getting him off the street.
Thanks to tips from the public, police will now turn their attention to other potential victims.
“We’re going to follow up with the other children to see if maybe they suffered some sort of abuse by him as well,” said Sgt. Nick Winsett. “There may be some additional charges, maybe.”
The future of the other children in the home is unclear.
“Unfortunately in this situation, both of the parents have been arrested,” said Holly’s House Executive Director Holly Edmond. “And so department of child services will be handling the children at this point.”
In 2018 alone, a recent report on DCS blames 65 child deaths in Indiana on abuse or neglect.
The report blames a high caseworker turnover on more drug addicted parents.
According to an affidavit, the child’s mother, Chelsea Marksberry, told police that she had used heroin while watching the child. She also said Bengert had used pills.
“This particular victim was so young that obviously he could not have spoken up for himself.”
Every adult over 18 is a mandatory reporter if they suspect signs of child abuse.
Police arrested Bengert after receiving multiple tips from the public, including one where he asked a driver for a ride, and the man called 911.
“He was crying, and he kept asking me to get in the car, and I didn’t know who it was at first so I just pulled off on him!”
Marksberry is held on a $20,000 cash bond and her next hearing is scheduled for January 15th.
Bengert is facing murder charges.
(This story was originally published on January 10, 2020)