Mother Continues to Seek Justice 31 Years after Daughter’s Disappearance

MODESTO -- A Modesto woman is still searching for answers 31 years after her daughter went missing.

"I just want some kind of closure," said Patricia Chupco, Susan Robin Bender's mother.

Susan Robin Bender went missing in April 1986 at the age of 15. The last place she was seen was 10th and G streets in downtown Modesto, at what used to be a Greyhound bus station. Bender was supposed to go with friends to the coast, but she was last seen getting into a van near the station.

Chupco sensed there was trouble.

"I knew where she was at. I knew where they were at. Why didn’t I get out of bed and go get her? That’s why I will always blame myself for not protecting her," Chupco said. "Because that’s what parents do, they protect their kids, just point-blank, cut and dry. If I could have been in her situation, I would have given my life for her. Any parent would have done that."

Now, as what would have been Bender’s 47th birthday looms on Monday, Chupco continues to search for a man she is convinced killed her daughter that day.

"I keep tracking him down from state to state to state and that’s the end of the story," Chupco said. "But I know he killed her."

FOX40 has chosen to keep the name out of the story because the man is not considered a suspect at this time, but Chupco says she will not stop remembering her daughter, who was gone far too soon.

"Her smiling face, her saying, 'Mom, I love you.' That’s what we did... conversation before she walked out that door," Chupco told FOX40. "But there is never going to be closure, there is not, even if they find her body. Even if they bring this guy to justice, there will never be closure."