MARICOPA COUNTY, Ariz. - It's been a year of friends and family of 41-year-old Benjamin Anderson wondering what led up to his unusual disappearance and death.
Deputies with the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office are still trying to figure out leads on who killed Anderson and why. It's a question his best friends have been trying to answer for 365 plus days.
Susan Dzbanko and Daniel Stahoviak say their best friend was so dedicated to his friends that he would text and call them every day.
"Once you met him, you just couldn’t help but fall in love with him," Dzbanko said. "Always wanted to help others instead of helping himself," Stahoviak added.
On New Year's Eve of 2021, when he didn’t respond, they knew something was wrong.
"Now a year later, we’ve had to relive December 31, January 1, January 2 and January 3, when we found out the body was found was his," Stahoviak said.
The 41-year-old’s burned car was found just off I-17 and Dunlap Avenue. His body would eventually be found in the desert off Table Mesa Road, 30 miles north of his car.
Why he was there, what happened, or why someone would hurt him remains unknown.
"We knew so much about Ben, who he hung around with, and who he was with, to now look back and think, what could have happened? Who did he talk to that nobody in his life knew –that’s the real struggle we’re faced with," Stahoviak said.
Dzbanko said it's, of course, not something you move on from.
"I don’t know how you heal from something like this truly. When someone was the bookend of your day, I think there is always going to be that hole there," she said.
His friends a year later say the situation remains as baffling now as it did back then.
"More questions than answers, it makes no sense," Stahoviak remarked.
That’s why they're seeking the community's help. They say any information, even if it seems small, could be the missing piece to getting some kind of closure.
"It’s never too late to do the right thing. Even though it’s a year on, if you do know something, call Silent Witness, call the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office," Dzbanko pleaded.
Anyone with information on this incident is asked to call MCSO at 602-876-TIPS or 602-876-1011. There is a $25,000 reward.