What Happened to Christopher Benedetto and Janette Piro? Couple Disappeared in 1998 — Only One Body Found

The family of missing man Christopher Benedetto just wanted to know what happened to him, but his killer never talked.

Jennifer Tisdale - Author

Jun. 14 2024, Published 7:03 p.m. ET

(L-R): Christopher Benedetto and his wife Janette Piro
Source: Oxygen (video still)

The Doe Network is an incredibly useful tool when it comes to missing persons. It's essentially a database filled with profiles of individuals who have disappeared. Sometimes loved ones are recognized on the website, while in most cases the information gathers digital dust. The story of one man on their website has a somewhat bitter end as authorities more or less know what happened to him, but they've never located his body. As such, he remains missing.

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His name is Christopher Benedetto and he's been missing since Nov. 11, 1998. He and his wife Janette Piro were last seen at their home on Singer Island in Riviera Beach, Fla. Piro never made it to the Doe Network as her body was found 12 days later. Authorities eventually arrested a man by the name of Michael Koblan, who was unwilling to give the Benedetto family the piece they deserved. Where is Michael Koblan now? Here's what we know.

(L-R): Janette Piro and her husband Christopher Benedetto
Source: Oxygen (video still)

Janette Piro and her husband Christopher Benedetto

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Where is Michael Koblan now? He passed away in 2006.

According to The Ledger, Koblan was convicted of first-degree murder, killing a witness, interstate stalking, conspiracy to obstruct justice, and crossing state lines with stolen property in March 2005. While appealing his conviction, he died from a heart attack two years into his sentence, per The Palm Beach Post.

Koblan's sentencing was on May 21, 2005, which was well-attended by members of the Benedetto family, reported the South Florida Sun Sentinel. His connection to the Benedettos came by way of Piro, Christopher Benedetto's wife. Koblan was married to Piro's sister. To no one's surprise, Koblan had nothing to say to the grieving people in the courtroom who had no idea what happened to their loved one.

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Benedetto disappeared while fishing, and Koblan returned with his prize fishing boat which would have been unusual. "The question I want to know is, where did he put Chris in the water?" asked Benedetto's brother George. "I would sell my soul to get him out of the ocean to put him to rest." Despite the fact that it's difficult to get a conviction without a body, the federal judge who sentenced Koblan was "absolutely convinced" he murdered Benedetto and his wife. So, what happened that day?

Riviera Beach, Fla. -- from Oxygen true crime video about Christopher Benedetto and Janette Piro
Source: Oxygen (video still)
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What happened to Christopher Benedetto and Janet Piro?

The night Benedetto and Piro disappeared, the couple had plans to attend a dinner party, per The Charley Project. Neither of them made it and things grew even more suspicious when Benedetto's truck was found abandoned in the parking lot of a nearby hotel three days later. Neighbors got in touch with family members of the couple. Benedetto's brothers flew down to Florida and searched for nearly two weeks before Piro's body was found in a freezer, in their garage.

It was later determined she had been strangled, and police then realized that more than $100,000 in jewelry was missing from their home. The Herald-Tribune reported that witnesses saw Benedetto take his boat out to go fishing the day he vanished, but he was not alone. It turns out Michael Koblan was with him.

Beyond being related by marriage, Benedetto had previously invested a good chunk of a $2 million workers compensation settlement into a trucking business co-owned by Koblan. Apparently it wasn't doing well. Enough circumstantial evidence was present for police to make an arrest in June 2003. Though he was found guilty, Koblan never confessed and of course died before anyone could find out what happened to Benedetto. He took his secrets to his grave.

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