Sunday, June 2, 2024

The Disappearance of Jennifer and Adrianna Wix

Source: Justice for Jennifer and Adrianna Wix

Jennifer and Adrianna Wix have been missing since March 25th, 2004. The mother and daughter were reportedly last seen together between 9:00 and 9:30 PM that evening in Cross Plains, Tennessee. Since then, the whereabouts of Jennifer, then 21, and Adrianna, then 2, remain a mystery to this day.

At the time of their disappearance, Jennifer and Adrianna lived in Cross Plains with Jennifer's boyfriend, Joey Benton, and his parents, Joseph and Cindy Benton. Jennifer and Joey reportedly began dating during the summer of 2003. Jennifer and Adrianna moved into the Benton's home in December of 2003 - just a few short months before they vanished.

Family members of Jennifer and Adrianna stated that Jennifer was struggling at the Benton home in the days leading up to her disappearance. In fact, she called her mother on March 24th - the day before she vanished - upset over a fight she had with someone in the Benton family. The next morning, Jennifer called her aunt, Lisa Fierro, and said she no longer wanted to live with the Benton's. 

According to Lisa, Jennifer said she planned to tell Joey that she and Adrianna were going to move out. Lisa explained that Jennifer told her, "If he does not agree for us to leave when he gets home, I’m leaving and I’m coming [to your house].’” Lisa subsequently left a spare key out at her house for Jennifer to use. Jennifer and Adrianna never arrived at the residence.

Later that morning, Jennifer spoke on the phone with her father. During their conversation, Jennifer talked about her fight with the Benton family. She also told her father she was looking forward to seeing him the following week. Nothing about their conversation indicated that the loved ones of Jennifer and Adrianna would never see or hear from them again. However, that phone call was Jennifer's last documented form of contact.

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Jennifer and Adrianna are reported missing.

It's clear that Jennifer spoke to several family members - including her mother, father, and aunt - about her struggles at the Benton home. Conversations about these struggles happened all within a 24-hour window prior to Jennifer and Adrianna's disappearance. 

As noted above, Jennifer's aunt Lisa left a spare key in an available spot at her house in case Jennifer and Adrianna needed somewhere to go amidst her struggles with the Benton's. After the two did not show up, Lisa expected Jennifer to at least call her with an update on the situation. However, that call never came.

Jennifer's mother reported both Jennifer and Adrianna missing on March 27th, 2004. Police inevitably wanted to question the Benton family, especially Jennifer's boyfriend, Joey Benton. Joey initially said that Jennifer and Adrianna left the residence on the evening of their disappearance with an "unknown individual". He later told a different story - which inevitably caused even more suspicions about him.

The changed story.

Joey later told police that, on the day of their disappearances, Jennifer asked him to drive her and Adrianna and to a local Cross Plains grocery store so Jennifer could use the phone. Afterwards, they reportedly drove to a nearby Exxon gas station near Exit 112 off Interstate 65. Joey said that he dropped both Jennifer and Adrianna off at the gas station after he and Jennifer got into an argument. 

Joey then said he drove across the street and parked. He explained that, after five to ten minutes passed, he observed Jennifer and Adrianna getting into a white four-door sedan. The driver of said sedan is unknown.

Joey also told police that Jennifer returned to his family's home on March 26th, 2004 - without Adrianna. He claimed that Jennifer drove the car that had picked her and Adrianna up the previous day. She left after collecting a few belongings but said she would return later for her income tax return. According to Joey, this was the last time her ever saw or heard from Jennifer. 

An unverified story. 

Police have never been able to verify Joey's version of events. Not only have they been unable to verify that Jennifer returned to the Benton home on March 26th, they also have been unable to verify that Jennifer and Adrianna were dropped off at the gas station on the evening of March 25th. 

The last known trace of Jennifer and Adrianna appears to be from that phone call that Jennifer had with her father on the morning of March 25th, 2004. This phone call took place around 11:00 AM. What happened to Jennifer and Adrianna after that remains unknown. 

Information from Jennifer's cousin/Joey's co-worker.

On March 25th, 2004, Joey Benton went to his construction job as planned. This is corroborated by Joey's co-worker, Jeff Grayson. Jeff also happens to be Jennifer's cousin; he is the son of Jennifer's aunt, Lisa Fierro. 

According to Jeff, Joey left abruptly while on the job. Jeff told reporters that "Joey got a phone call and had to leave. It was really fast. It was really — something happened, you know? ‘We gotta go, I gotta go,’ you know? It was really, really, really, really urgent.”

It's unclear what, exactly, prompted Joey to leave his job so abruptly. However, it appears that this happened after Jennifer's last known contact with her father at 11:00 AM. 

Unanswered questions and a cold case.

Although many people have suspicions about the Benton's, no one from the family has been charged with anything related to the disappearance of Jennifer and Adrianna. As months trickled into years without answers, the case quickly became cold. In 2013, it was reclassified as a homicide investigation. 

Police have remained quiet about the status of the investigation. However, in March 2024, it was reported that a search warrant was executed at the Benton home. The search took place over 20 years after Jennifer and Adrianna's disappearance, and it's unclear what, if any, evidence was found.

The search for answers.

Loved ones of Jennifer and Adrianna have never given up on their quest for answers and justice. The investigation is still open. There is a monetary reward available for information that could lead to the arrest of the person(s) responsible for the disappearance of Jennifer and Adrianna. 

If you have any information that could help solve Jennifer and Adrianna's case, please Tennessee Bureau of Investigation at 1-800-TBI-FIND or email TipsToTBI@tbi.tn.gov.

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Sources:
Charley Project, (2)
Dateline
Justice for Jennifer and Adrianna Wix
Smokey Barn News
WSMV 4

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