The funeral’s today (Thursday) for five members of one family killed at their southeast Iowa home last weekend. While Shawn Bentler and his court-appointed lawyer work on the plea he’ll enter next week, the community where they’d lived is trying to recover.
Stacy Glandon, Executive Director of Tourism and Economic Development for Van Buren County, says the region has many small towns but is one economic and social neighborhood.
The Villages of Van Buren are small villages within the border of Keosauqua County, a total of twelve different communities from Keosauqua with about 1,100 people down to Mount Sterling with around fifty. It’s a rural area overall, she says.
“We know our neighbors,” she says, “we know our friends, and to have something like this happen, tragedy is an understatement.” “When you see something like this on the news, you think of New York or Chicago, you certainly don’t think about Bonaparte, Iowa.
Everybody’s joining together to support the victims’ family and friends, Glandon says. “You’ll see that any time storms, a tornado will go by and everyone joins together,” she explains. “It’s the same instance in this case.” The family’s asked that memorials go to St. Boniface Catholic Church, or the Harmony High School in Farmington that the three Bentler girls attended.