SIMMONS GAP, Va. — Park rangers and rescue workers called off a search for Kent Bennet, a hiker who went missing in Shenandoah National Park yesterday, at the request of his friends, family, and coworkers, who unanimously claimed that Bennet was kind of a dick and not worth the time and effort.
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Bennet was reported missing to park officials 14 hours after he stormed away from his campsite at Loft Mountain Campground. He was visiting the area with friends when he got into an altercation with another member of the group over his behavior. Cullen Williams, a member of the camping party, reported that Bennet was not fond of the outdoors but had joined the trip at the last minute at the insistence Williams’s younger sister Rachel, whom Bennet was dating.
Williams said that Bennet began drinking almost immediately upon arriving at the campsite and remained heavily intoxicated until he disappearing around 11:30 the following evening. Bennet walked away from the campsite after getting into a fight with another member of the group when he refused to turn off a rather lengthy Skrillex song. Williams said that the group let him storm off alone as they had grown tired of his behavior over the last day and a half.
“By that point we were all just completely sick of Kent,” Williams said. “He was constantly drunk. He pissed on the side of my tent the first night and then threw rocks at a rabbit during our hike the next day. No matter how much we tried to ignore him, he just kept telling us these obviously fake stories, yelling over the EDM from the bluetooth speaker attached to his backpack. We all kept waiting for the speaker’s battery to die, but it never did.”
When Bennett failed to return in the morning the group assumed he was sleeping off his hangover in the nearby restroom and went on their planned hike without him. Upon returning six hours later, the group finally notified park rangers after discovering Bennet still had not returned.
“We figured we should probably at least mention it, just to cover our bases,” Lindsey Stevens said. “But I wasn’t going to go searching too hard for that asshole.”
Rescue workers and park officials conducted a 45-minute search of the surrounding area, but soon discovered one of Bennet’s shoes next to a pile of cigarette butts. Determining that Bennet was indeed kind of a dick, they agreed to call off the search. Park officials notified Bennet’s family of his disappearance, who seemed nonplussed by the news.
“I have two other sons, a doctor and a special needs teacher,” Molly Bennet, Kent’s mother, said. “Kent just got fired from Olive Garden. I hope nobody went to too much trouble with the search.”