continued Bennett's 75-year-old mom, Gloria Biegert, who lives in New Jersey, apparently feels the same. She refused to speak to the Reader. But she is so worried about her daughter, she has hired a private investigator to find Pamela. And Dennis Phillips of All West Investigations says that, unlike his employer, he'll speak because "the thing that's important to us is finding Pam, and they could well be right in your readership area." Phillips says Blake was a charmer who came at the right time for Bennett, when she was vulnerable, with the death of her father and the breakup of her marriage, both last year.
He believes it was the air of danger, adventure, sophistication, and wealth about "J" that appealed to her. "She's an outdoor, adventurous woman. She likes the outdoor life, she likes travel, she likes good food, she's a connoisseur of good food, she's a gourmet cook, she's a talented entertainer of people, a gregarious person. But it's our feeling that she's fallen into J's world, and when she fell, she had no idea what she had gotten into. We know that she's emotionally wrestling with what to do, how to bring her life back to some normalcy. We feel that there's definitely an element of danger, based on who he is. This person is a professional criminal, in our opinion.... The way we'll find Pam is when someone finds Blake."
According to her best friend, Christine Mulholland, granddaughter of L.A.'s famous water baron, the two studied liberal arts at the exclusive Sierra Nevada College in Tahoe in the early 1970s and remained friends ever since. Mulholland, speaking from San Luis Obispo, says the two used to party together.
Mulholland has heard every theory: that Pamela and Blake are still around Oregon-Washington, that they paid someone else to drive the Mustang to TJ and abandon it, that when the meth lab became "hot," she and J drove separate cars down and flew off from Tijuana airport to the Bahamas. Yet Mulholland feels if her friend were okay, she would have heard. "I would have had a postcard from her by now from some place or a phone call."
Mulholland says Bennett told her earlier this year she started suspecting Blake was involved with meth labs. "At that time she told me that she was sending him packing, and he couldn't hang around there anymore." And that, Mulholland fears, along with Bennett's temperament, could have turned Pamela into a problem. "She's got a volatile temper on her and a volatile mouth to go with it. And when she drank, boy, she could really drink. So if she drank too much, or -- I know meth creates paranoia and violent behavior.... My friend's car turns up in Tijuana.... I still am not certain that [Blake] or somebody else hasn't caused some foul play to happen to her."
Back in Tijuana, Licenciado Huerta, the Otay Mesa police chief, peers into the Ford Mustang in the yard behind his police station. When American forensics finally come to inspect it, he fears they won't get many answers. Huerta speaks good English, but there hasn't been a lot of communication with police in Clarkston and Lewiston, even though he gave the U.S. cops his number.
"It's not so 'clean' [for prints] as we wished," he says, peering in. "When the car was opened, the police touched the car, the private security officers touched the car. Why? Because there was no crime related to the car then, so it is not clean." But he worries more about the young lady who might have been dragged out of it and killed, perhaps because she knew too much. "That is a very [great] possibility -- that not only Pamela Bennett, but maybe Mr. Blake could be a victim too. If they come to Tijuana, if they are involved with these kinds of problems, of course it is a possibility." He pauses before climbing the steps into his police station. "Or, she could have come to Tijuana to disappear. In Baja it is very easy to disappear. If you see this lady in Rosarito, in Ensenada, in the Coyote Playa in Baja Sur, you're not going to think of her as a possible delinquent. It is very easy to disappear in Tijuana." Pamela Bennett is described as five feet, eight inches tall, weighs 140 pounds, and has brown hair and eyes. Her dog wears a teal collar with a southwestern design.