Robertson County sheriff's officials announced Monday the 2004 disappearance of Jennifer Wix and her daughter Adrianna has been reclassified from a missing persons case to a homicide case.
Wix, then 21, and 2-year-old Adrianna had been missing since March 2004. They were last seen at the home of Joey Benton, Wix's boyfriend, on March 25.
Wix's mom reported her missing on March 27, 2004.
Jennifer and Adrianna Wix lived with Benton in an out-building on Benton's parents' property.
Benton told authorities that on March 25 Wix had asked him to take her to a grocery store in Cross Plains to use the phone. Benton said he did so, and then dropped Wix and Adrianna off at a local Exxon.
Benton said he pulled across the street and watched as a white four-door car pulled up and Jennifer and Adrianna Wix got inside.
Benton told authorities that Wix showed up at his property on March 26, collected her property and said she needed some time away.
According to deputies, Benton's claims of taking Wix to the grocery store have not been independently corroborated.
The last person known to have spoken to Wix was her father, Michael Wix, who talked to her about 11 a.m. on March 25, according to phone records. Michael Wix, who lives in Manchester, told detectives that his daughter spoke of arguing with Benton's family and that she looked forward to seeing him in Manchester the following Sunday.
Authorities said they searched the Benton property four times after the reported disappearance, including draining a pond on the property on one occasion.
Sheriff's officials said no one, including Joey Benton, has been eliminated as a possible suspect in the mother and daughter's disappearance.
"As Season to Remember services in memory of homicide victims are held throughout the country at this special time of year, the Robertson County Sheriff's Office is absolutely committed to not letting Jennifer and Adrianna Wix be forgotten," said Robertson County Sheriff Bill Holt. "I strongly believe there are persons in this community who know what happened to Jennifer and Adrianna, but who have been reluctant to come forward for one reason or another.
"We strongly encourage our citizens to help us provide answers and closure to the family and, as circumstances warrant, justice to these two young persons," he added.
Holt said a special tip line has been set up to provide information on the Wix's disappearance. Individuals can provide information by calling 615-478-5763 or via the department's Crime Tips page at www.robertsonsheriff.com.
There is a reward of $17,000 being offered to anyone with information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible for the Wix's disappearance.
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