Home » Tarasha Benjamin, 17: Left Home In The Morning, Car Found Abandoned 2 Hours Later
Far too often, investigations into missing teenagers are dismissed. That age group is widely tacked with being runaways or problem children who are keeping secrets from their parents, and authorities don’t adequately investigate because it’s simply believed that the teen will return. However, it has been 12 years since anyone has seen or heard from Tarasha Benjamin, and there haven’t been many reports about her case.
Tarasha was just 17 years old when she disappeared from Selma, Alabama. In an interview with WSFA 12 News back in 2017, Tarasha’s mother, Regina Benjamin, said that her daughter was someone who had a great reputation in her hometown, so when she disappeared, no one could believe it. Regina recounted her daughter’s moments on the last day she was seen.
“Tarasha left my house at about 9 to 9:30 a.m. on June 26, 2010, going to the Selma Flea Market. She left with a friend of mine in [the friend’s] truck,” she said. Tarasha was reportedly driving the friend’s SUV. “They were going to the Flea Market. She goes every Saturday. For some reason, I just felt something, a feeling in my body that something was wrong.” Her mother’s intuition took over because when she didn’t hear from Tarasha by 11:00 a.m., she immediately began calling anyone she could, looking for her daughter. A cousin would tell Regina that they saw the truck Tarasha was driving that morning on the Cecil Jackson Bypass.
It was an ominous revelation because the cousin stated that the truck was sitting on the side of the road, abandoned, not far from the flea market. At approximately 1:00 p.m. that same day, the owner of the truck and their friend showed up at Regina’s home looking for Tarasha. The truck owner gave Tarasha permission to use their vehicle, but after they went their separate ways that morning, what happened to Tarasha Benjamin is unclear. It isn’t even known if she ever made it to the flea market.
The concerned group immediately went to recover the abandoned truck and saw that it seemed as if someone had been searching through the vehicle.
“Stuff was thrown out on the side by it and we searched and searched,” said Regina. “We never found her and still to this day, we don’t know anything. She just vanished and Selma is a small town. I know there’s somebody out there that knows something about my daughter being missing. If it was me and I knew something, I would tell it because I wouldn’t want a mother to go through the pain that I go through every day.”
Local residents, as well as the police, searched throughout the city on multiple occasions, even chasing down leads about possible human remains being buried behind a property. In the end, their search efforts were futile. Regina has continued to place Tarasha’s case in the spotlight as much as she can, but it’s clear that she needs more help. In 2017, Regina still believed that her daughter was outside of the Selma area, alive and well. Over the years, there have been leads of Tarasha Benjamin being somewhere in Florida, prompting Regina to travel from one state to the next. There was speculation that Tarasha may have become a victim of sex trafficking or someone she was dating at the time being a person of interest.
This isn’t the first missing person case that Regina has had to deal with. Her husband, Tarasha’s father, disappeared just a couple of years before Tarasha did. After weeks of searching, his remains were located behind a restaurant in the city and it’s reported that it is unclear what happened to him. Additionally, Tarasha was reportedly Regina’s youngest child; she had two sisters, but they died in a house fire at three and four years old.
At the time of her disappearance, Tarasha Benjamin stood 5 feet 2 inches tall and weighed 125 pounds. She had black/dark brown hair and brown eyes (she was known to wear colored contacts). Tarasha was last seen wearing blue jean shorts, a turquoise and lime green shirt, gladiator sandals (possibly silver), and was likely wearing a silver necklace. She also has a tattoo of the words “Pooh Bear” or “Pooh” on her right shoulder, as that was her nickname.
Anyone with information about this case is urged to contact the Selma Police Department at (334) 874-2134 or their local authorities. The agency case number is 10-0627002.
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