CLINTON — After four months without a trace of their beloved “Benny,” friends and family of missing Clinton teen Ben Roseland are still desperate for any clues into the disappearance of the young man, who has not been seen since Feb. 9.

“We’re praying all the time,” said Roseland’s aunt, Julie Connell. “It’s never far from our minds.”

Roseland, 19, described by officials as a white male, standing 5 feet 11 inches tall and weighing 175 pounds, with brown hair and blue eyes, was last seen by friends after leaving the 400 block of 10th Avenue South and heading for Hy-Vee. Roseland never arrived at the store, and has not been seen or heard from since.

Loved ones have conducted several searches in the area, one of which turned up a pair of shoes believed to be Roseland’s, but have not had any real leads concerning the case.

“We just are begging anyone who knows anything to come forward and let us know,” Connell said.

Connell stated that a family friend is maintaining a Web site with up-to-date information and pictures of Roseland, at benroseland.com. He was also recently featured in the Missing Persons section of the America’s Most Wanted Web site, at www.amw.com, and is listed on the databases on the Texas EquuSearch site, www.texasequusearch.org, as well as www.missingkids.com, the Web site for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

Roseland’s mom, Theresa, has set up an account at Clinton National Bank, called “Donations for Ben,” to allow community members to make contributions to the family. She noted that the proceeds will be used to help establish a reward, and assist with search costs.

Things have been especially rough for the family recently, with the passing of Ben’s maternal grandmother on Tuesday, and the hospitalization of Jean Roseland, his paternal grandma.

“She kept asking, ‘what happened to Benny? Is he ever going to come home?’” Connell said of Jean. “She was in so much pain, and that was all she was thinking about.”

Family members state that spending Mother’s Day without Ben was extremely difficult, and Ben’s father, Jim, is dreading Father’s Day without his only son.

Connell feels the “Letter to the Unknown,” written by Ben’s aunt, Kathy Roseland, best describes the torturous emotions being felt by the entire family:

“Person unknown, I am not writing this just for Ben, but for that one person who knows where he is and what happened to him. If there was an accident, please find it in your heart to tell us where he is so that we can find him. Not knowing is so painful, everyday that goes by leaves our hearts crying out,” Kathy wrote in the letter she posted on benroseland.com. “Please leave a message with the police about his location.We desperately need to know. Our lives will always be in stress until we find our Ben.”

Those closest to Ben still hold out hope that he will come home safely.

“I see (Ben’s) bedroom from my room with all of his things waiting for him. Our cat, Felix, lays on his bed, missing him, too,” said his younger sister, Helen. “We are praying he comes home every day, and I don’t want to spend his birthday and Christmas without him here, even though I will buy him presents anyway, waiting for his return.” “We can barely function without him,” Theresa said.