Authorities identified an armless and severely decomposed body found on Tar Pits Beach in Carpinteria as Rachel Bendett. The 41-year-old mother was reported missing in San Diego on March 8 after she did not return to her mother-in-law’s house to pick up her three children. That same day, Bendett’s car was discovered abandoned in a parking area near Santa Claus Beach in Carpinteria, just a few blocks from her parents’ home and several miles north of Tar Pits Beach. According to authorities, there were no signs of foul play in the car, and Bendett’s body did not indicate any blunt trauma or signs of struggle. A comparison of dental records allowed coroners to positively identify Bendett last Monday.

To submit a comment on this article, email or visit our Facebook page. To submit information to a reporter, email

Be succinct, constructive, and relevant to the story. Leaving a comment means you agree to our Discussion Guidelines. We like civilized discourse. We don't like spam, lying, profanity, harassment or personal attacks.

comments powered by Disqus
event calendar sponsored by:

Montecito Residents Piece Apart New Flood Map

Despite objections for individual parcels, officials say map will stand.

California Hits an Emissions Landmark Four Years Early

Achieved greenhouse-gas pollution reduction to 1990 levels in 2016.

192 Bridge Work Update

Delays expected as utility lines are replaced.

Goleta Target Store Confirmed

Set to open at Kmart location in 2019.

County Fire Chief Calls for More Fuel Breaks

Peterson wants to create a continuous front-country line from Montecito to Goleta.