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NEW ALBANY, Ind. -- (WDRB) Authorities believe they have found the remains of a Southern Indiana teenager, missing since September. Police discovered what is believed to be Ethan Bennett's silver Jaguar last night with a body inside.
The big question, was his apparent death an accident, or something else.
Skyline Drive in Floyd Co. has some of the most spectacular scenery in Southern Indiana. But now it is also the apparent scene of one family's tragedy.
Last night, police found what they believe is Ethan Bennett's car at the bottom of a ravine. Investigators today released this photograph of the mangled car. It had gone over a cliff and dropped between 750 and 1,000 feet.
"The car does match the description as well as the registration of the missing person," said Floyd Co. Prosecutor Keith Henderson.
Investigators were back on the scene today, retrieving pieces of what appeared to be Bennett's silver Jaguar.
The family had suggested that police search the area by helicopter. It was an area that Ethan Bennett had enjoyed.
"He liked looking out at the view, so this was an area that the family thought we should look in. We looked in lots of areas, but this is where we were able to find the debris," said Clark Co. Sheriff Danny Rodden.
Bill Beach lives across the street and owns the property where the car was found. He helped lead investigators to the debris.
Looking back, he believes he may have heard the crash back in September.
"We heard some noise. I got up, looked out, turned the lights on. I have a lot of lights on the outside of the house. I saw nothing over here and went back to bed. Didn't think anything about it, but I really think I heard the crash," said Beach.
There is one thing of which investigators are certain. The car was traveling at a high rate of speed when it went over the embankment.
"By first appearance it doesn't appear that there's been anything go through the fence. Therefore investigators are investigating whether or not the car could have gone airborne. They're looking at speeds. They're assessing damage.
Residents say accidents are really not common here.
"That's probably the first big one we've encountered here. You might have neighbors with the occasional bump," said Ian McKenzie.
But is there anything that would lead police to believe this was not an accident?
"There was never a note left to our knowledge. We just feel like he was a disturbed young man, but we don't know much more than that," said Rodden.
Investigators hope dental records will provide a positive I. D.
Police are still deciding whether they need to remove the car from the rugged terrain where it lies.
Ethan's father, who has led the effort to find his son, says he is not yet ready to comment.