March 14, 2023
Renee Benedetti was last seen on January 26, 2023, in Columbus, Ohio.
The 40-year-old woman was officially reported as missing several days later after failing to contact friends and loved ones. The case was dubbed a “High-risk” missing person case by police.
On January 31, 2023, the Cleveland Police Department contacted the Columbus Police department regarding a potential homicide involving Renee Benedetti. They had received information that Renee may have been murdered by her boyfriend and disposed of in a dumpster.
Renee lived with her boyfriend, Gene Scott Jr., 46, in an apartment in Columbus in the vicinity of Morse and Georgetown Roads on the north side of the city. They often posted pictures together on their social media profiles and aimed public posts at one another. In one of Scott’s more recent posts he had published what appears to be an apology aimed at Benedetti, which read: “I have a lot to make up for. This is just a start. Acknowledging my failures. And asking for help. Please don't give up on me. On us. Our bubble. I love you." The post indicated that the pair had been having relationship issues around the time Renee Benedetti went missing, and Scott Denner was one of the last people to see her before she disappeared.
Their home on the 4900 block of Arbor Village Drive in the Beechwold area of Columbus was searched by investigators on February 01, 2023, for reasons of obtaining evidence of a murder. According to the Columbus Dispatch, records show that the warrant was served and the residence searched on the same day the victim was reported missing.
During the search two firearms were found, including a .22 calibre rifle in the bedroom and a .9mm handgun under the bed. Because Scott is a felon, he is not permitted to own firearms, so an arrest warrant for possession of weapons under disability was issued in his name. A weapon under disability is defined as a person carrying or using a firearm when that person is a fugitive from justice, under indictment or has been convicted of a felony offense to violence.
Gene Scott Jr.’s criminal history has been published by numerous media outlets. In 1998 it said Scott was convicted of a felonious assault and aggravated robbery for his involvement in the beating and robbery of a Cleveland man one year prior. The victim was said to have been beaten with such severity that he was left in a pool of his own blood with broken ribs and multiple broken bones in his face. The victim lay in hospital in a coma for over three weeks before he regained consciousness.
Scott was convicted and sentenced to eighteen years in prison for the crime.
Scott was arrested on February 02, 2023, in Kentucky on possessing weapons under disability and extradited back to Ohio where he eventually confessed to investigators and was charged with murder. When officers searched his truck they found another firearm in his vehicle.
The suspect had murder charges filed against him at Franklin County Municipal Court last week.
On February 08, 2023, Scott was brought to the Columbus Police Building where he confessed to being the owner of the rifle found in his vehicle when he was stopped by police. He denied, however, owning the firearms in the apartment he shared with Benedetti and claimed that they belonged to her.
On March 8, 2023, Columbus police homicide detectives recovered Renee Benedetti’s body from the Rumpke Waste and Recycling facility in Brown County, just off U.S. 68 in Southern Ohio, located around an hours’ drive east of Cincinnati. At this point, the victim had been missing for over a month and it took detectives over two weeks to locate her body. They had been searching since 20 February. An autopsy was performed on the remains to positively identify them as belonging to the victim.
According to Columbus police commander, Mark Denner, Scott allegedly admitted to choking Benedetti to death on Jan. 29, 2023, during an argument in their apartment.
He reportedly: “Grabbed her by the throat and choked her until she was motionless on the floor.”
He then allegedly rolled her body up into a rug and disposed of the body in a dumpster in Southern Ohio. The body was then transported to the Rumpke Landfill in Brown County where Scott likely believed it would remain missing. The Rumpke Landfill workers worked with police to narrow down the search of the landfill area to retrieve the victim’s body.
Denner has stated that he does not believe there was additional people involved in the murder. Denner also added that he will not be exposing any further details of the crime in order to preserve the investigation. So far only limited details of the case have been revealed, as it is still classified as an ongoing homicide investigation.
During a panel regarding the case held by Columbus police, one journalist asked about any history of domestic violence in the relationship, stating that they had heard from a family friend that there may have been domestic violence towards Scott at the hands of the victim. Denner responded: "There's a lot that's part of the investigation, and right now, for our purposes...there's not a lot that I can share at this point."
Scott is currently being held without bond in the Franklin County jail and is expected to go to trial for the weapons charges in April 2023. An initial hearing regarding the murder charges is expected to take place in Franklin County in the coming days.
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