Rideshare driver linked to disappearance of missing woman

VICTORIA, Texas – Authorities have found the body of a 20-year-old Texas woman who went missing just before Thanksgiving. Amanda Stevenson of Victoria vanished last Tuesday, sparking a widespread search effort by her family and law enforcement.

Stevenson’s mother reported her daughter missing on Tuesday morning. Local police, along with family members, scoured the areas of Victoria and nearby Yoakum in search of any leads. According to authorities, Stevenson was last seen near Salem Road on Sunday, November 19.

During the investigation, law enforcement honed in on a “known associate” who happened to work for a rideshare service. The associate has since been identified as 45-year-old Kevin Bennetsen of Victoria. The Texas Department of Public Safety confirmed the connection between Bennetsen and Stevenson’s disappearance. They have not revealed the details of their relationship.

On Thursday, the Victoria County Sheriff’s Office received a report of human remains found in a creek near a bridge off Fordyce Road, close to Patriot Park. There is now confirmation that the remains were those of Amanda Stevenson.

Detectives interviewed Bennetsen about Stevenson’s whereabouts and attempted to re-interview him during a traffic stop on Wednesday. During the encounter, he tragically took his own life.

Authorities are now focusing their investigation on Bennetsen and the various locations he frequented. The Victoria Police Department has conducted multiple searches that involved over twenty members of the department on a property near Yoakum. Additionally, scent-sensitive dogs and drones were used several times at the location. Police had the consent from the cooperating spouse of the now-deceased person of interest and the additional support of a search warrant.

The family of Amanda Stevenson believes she was likely with Bennetsen at the time of her disappearance. In addition to his work as a rideshare driver, Bennetsen served as an elementary school teacher in the Victoria Independent School District.

Her cell phone was found during the investigation. In the absence of a password, however, police have not been able to unlock the phone.

Police are urging the public to refrain from speculating on the details of the case and to avoid creating false narratives. Amanda Stevenson’s tragic death is still being investigated.