Details of Disappearance
Ricardo was last seen in Elkton, Maryland on August 19, 2014. He was riding his bicycle near the park on Cow Lane in the Hollingsworth Manor neighborhood sometime between 11:00 a.m. and noon when a dark blue Chevrolet sedan, driven by heavset Caucasian male and with a female passenger, pulled up and Ricardo got inside.
On the afternoon of August 18, the day before Ricardo disappeared, his sixteen-year-old friend, Jesse Veasey Jr., also vanished. He was last seen getting into the same vehicle Ricardo got into, driven by the same man and with the same woman passenger, in the same neighborhood. A photo of Jesse is posted below this case summary. Neither of them have ever been heard from again.
Authorities identified the driver of the car as Donald Ray Bennett. A photo of Bennett is posted below this case summary. He and his female companion, who has not been publicly named, admitted to having had Ricardo and Jesse in the car at separate times and claim they dropped both of them off alive and well. Bennett, who has a criminal record for burglary, theft and assault, was wanted for stealing from an auto parts store at the time Jesse and Ricardo disappeared, and was arrested and jailed later that month He was ultimately sentenced to three years in prison for the theft.
In March 2015, Bennett was charged with murdering both teenagers. In August 2015, he pleaded guilty to two counts of second-degree murder and was sentenced to a term of sixty years in prison. He said approached each one to buy heroin and strangled them to death, sixteen hours apart. He also confessed to stealing heroin, cash and a watch from Jesse; the watch was found on the roof of the West End Gardens apartment complex where Bennett lived. He apologized to Jesse and Ricardo's relatives at his sentencing. As part of the plea agreement, he promised to lead authorities to the bodies. Acting on his directions, investigators found Veasey's remains in Little Elk Creek beneath the Interstate 95 overpass, 40 yards from the southbound lane of Blue Ball Road. They don't expect to be able to find Ricardo's body, however. Bennett said he put it in a trash bin behind West End Gardens. The bin's contents were hauled to the Cecil County Landfill.
It's uncharacteristic of Ricardo to leave without warning or to be out of touch with his friends. His cellular phone has been turned off since the day he vanished. He left behind two baby daughters. Foul play is suspected in Ricardo's disappearance due to the circumstances involved.
Left: Donald Ray Bennett;
Right: Jesse Veasey Jr.