By Susan Ovans
The body of a Hull man who has been missing since early November has reportedly been found, Hull Police Chief John Dunn said Monday.
The body that’s believed to be Michel J. Benjamin, 64, a Nantascot Place resident, was found in a densely wooded area off Delewanda Road at about 5 p.m. Sunday by a boy who was walking a dog, police said.
Benjamin hadn’t been seen since Sunday, Nov. 4.
A friend, Margot Scheuren of Hingham, initially requested police to do a well-being check on Nov. 6. She waited at his building while Hull police and fire personnel checked his unit, which was empty.
A check of medical transport records turned up no information, so Scheuren went to the police station on School Street and formally reported Benjamin missing. Hull police entered the town resident’s name into the national database of missing persons.
According to the Hull police log, on Wednesday, Nov. 7, at 10:42 a.m., police and fire personnel went back to Nantascot Place and again accessed Benjamin’s unit. “Have Fire meet PD at above location for a male party that has been missing and has several medical issues. … Male party was not there,” the log item states.
At 9:18 a.m. Nov. 8, Scheuren returned to the Hull Police Department and spoke to Officer Jon Mahoney.
After another check of Benjamin’s condo unit was unsuccessful, Mahoney called in area K9 units from Hingham, Cohasset, and Scituate to search the area behind the high-rise condo building, which abuts the former Hull landfill and is overgrown with weeds and shrubs.
According to Mahoney’s narrative, the K9 units searched both sides of the boulevard, including Rockaway Annex behind the Hull Medical Center, for three to four hours, “with zero results.”
An infrared drone from the Plymouth County Sheriff’s Office searched the heavily wooded area that runs along the boulevard and Weir River, also with negative results.
State police issued a “silver alert” in connection with Benjamin’s disappearance and dive teams from several area police departments searched the Weir River on Dec. 11.
Delewanda Road isn’t far from Nantascot Place, whose entrance is on George Washington Boulevard. The secluded street is in the Rockaway neighborhood, a warren of residential streets that’s up the hill and away from the boulevard.
According to a news story in The Hull Times Nov. 15 edition, Benjamin had sold his car and didn’t drive. When police searched his condo after he was reported missing, they found soda, candy, and cigarettes Benjamin purchased Nov. 4 at the Smart Save Variety Store at 169 Nantasket Ave. The $22.55 buy was the last activity on his credit card.
A neighbor reported seeing Benjamin that evening, just before he arrived at the convenience store, presumably having walked. No one reported seeing him after that.
Scheuren, the friend who alerted police that he was missing, told police that Benjamin had two brothers, one who lives in Switzerland and one in Florida. She was his healthcare proxy and said that Benjamin suffered from several illnesses, including Parkinson’s and depression. He hadn’t taken his medication in four days, Scheuren said when she met with police on Nov. 8.
When Benjamin didn’t take his meds regularly, his cognitive abilities failed and he saw “people that aren’t there and hears voices,” according to police records.
The death is not believed to be suspicious, Dunn said in a press statement issued today. The state Medical Examiner’s office took custody of the body; an autopsy will determine the cause of his death.