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1Disappearance of Gary Mathias
A man named Gary Mathias disappeared with his four friends after attending a college basketball game and was never seen again. His four friends were found decaying in/around a remote cabin 20 miles away from their car having died from starvation and hypothermia, despite there being an ample supply of food and heating materials.
2Disappearance of Glen & Bessie Hyde
In the late 1920s, a newlywed couple named Glen and Bessie Hyde attempted to kayak the rapids of the Grand Canyon, but both disappeared without a trace. Their kayak was found with much of their equipment in it, but the trail quickly went cold. 50 years later, a kayaking guide was taking a group of tourists down the Colorado River and told them about the disappearance of the Hydes. An older woman in the group chimed in, claiming to be Bessie, and describing in detail how Glen had been abusive, so she killed him, but she later recanted the story. A couple of decades later, another woman known for rafting the Grand Canyon passed away, and her friends found the Hydes' marriage certificate among her belongings, leading to speculation that she may have been Bessie under another name. Despite these theories and speculation, the case remains unsolved.
3Disappearance of Kelly Disney
In 1984, a girl named Kelly Disney went missing after fighting with her boyfriend at a party. Two officers were among the last people to see her, and she told them she was walking to a friend's house. Her family searched for her, but the cops deemed her a runaway, so the case went cold. 10 years later, someone found a skull in a car at the reservoir where people went to party. It was confirmed to be Kelly Disney's skull, and there were signs of trauma, but there was no further progress. Some locals believe the killer was her boyfriend. Others think there may have been a serial killer in the area, as 4 more girls went missing after Kelly. All of them went missing while walking at night.
4Disappearance of Beatriz Winck
In 2012, while the elderly Winck couple was visiting the town of Aparecida do Norte in Brazil as tourists, they went souvenir shopping. Later, 77-year-old Beatriz Winck stepped outside and waited while her husband, Delmar Winck, waited in line to pay for the items. When he left the store, she had vanished. Investigation of her disappearance led nowhere as they did not find a single clue as to what happened to her. Her husband is still alive and his adult children keep searching for her. The town is known for the Sanctuary of Aparecida which is the second-largest Catholic church in the world and she disappeared right in front of it. The church only gave the police access to its camera 15 days after her disappearance by which time, that day’s events were recorded over.
5Disappearance of the Beaumont Children
In 1966, three Beaumont siblings disappeared from a beach in Australia. There were kidnapped at the same time, in a busy public place, with very little conclusive evidence about what had happened. As the case started picking up heat in the media, there were a lot of weird complications (possible sightings, hoax ransom notes/calls, etc.) and potential connections to other kidnappings and murders. They were never found. Interestingly, it's widely considered to be a big turning point for attitudes toward children in Australia. After the Beaumont children disappeared, people were much less willing to let their children out unsupervised, though, of course, it wasn't the first time a child had been kidnapped by a (presumed) stranger.
6Death of David Glenn Lewis
David Glenn Lewis disappeared on Super Bowl Sunday in Amarillo, Texas in 1993, with a freshly made sandwich in the fridge and the VCR set up to record the game. His wife and daughter returned home from a trip a few days later to find him gone but his watch and wedding ring were in the house. He was a lawyer and had previously expressed fear to his wife that his life was in danger. His car was found at the courthouse in Amarillo. Four days later he was the victim of a hit-and-run as he was walking on the side of the highway in Moxee, Washington. It took over 10 years to identify his body and no one knows how he got there or why he was in Washington.
7The Polaroid in the Parking Lot
In April 1988, 9-year-old Michael Henley vanished while on a camping trip with his father in the Zuni Mountains of New Mexico. In September of the same year, 19-year-old Tara Calico disappeared from her hometown of Belen, New Mexico while out on her bike. On June 1989, a woman goes into a convenience store and notices a white van in the parking lot. When she exits, she sees a Polaroid photo, face down on the ground where the van had been. It showed a teenage girl and a young boy, bound and gagged. They were initially identified to be Michael Henley and Tara Calico. Henley's remains were eventually found. Tara Calico's case however remains unsolved to this day. Forensics later determined that the boy in the photo wasn't him after all and that Henley died of hypothermia after getting lost in the woods. The boy in the photo with Tara remains unidentified.
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8Disappearance of Jason Jolkowski
Jason Jolkowski was a 19-year-old from Omaha, Nebraska who disappeared without a trace in June 2001 on his way to work. What baffled the investigators was how quickly it happened. He was called into work at a fast food restaurant for an unplanned shift, took a shower, started walking to a high school a few blocks away to meet a co-worker who offered him a ride and just vanished somewhere on that walk. His family said he is too responsible to have left without warning, and he was not having any problems at the time of his disappearance. He is described as a shy person who was not involved with drugs or alcohol and was close to his family at the time of his disappearance.
9Disappearance of Busan Newlywed
In 2016, a prominent Busan couple, Choi Sung Hee and Kim Yoon Suk disappeared in thin air, just 6 months into their marriage. There were last seen in CCTV entering their apartment, but none of them were ever seen leaving their apartment. Their grocery was untouched and they left behind a dog. There was no sign of them on CCTV even though there were so many of them.
10Disappearance of Lars Mittank
In 2014, a German man named Lars Mittank went on vacation to Bulgaria with friends. There he was injured in a fight he got into and therefore wasn’t able to fly back home with his friends for health reasons. He later called his mother once they had all left saying he thought he was being followed and he was going to book a plane the next day. He was last seen on CCTV footage heading into the airport carrying his suitcase and later he was seen running out of the airport at full speed without his bags. He scaled a fence, ran into the woods, and was never seen again.
RE #1: Gary Mathias – I have an easy explanation, and it has to do with the guy in the car, but doesn’t involve foul play.
If they were lost in the mountains at night, even if they were on a highway, it’s possible they were looking for someone to ask for directions. They may have saw the lights of Shones car, since he admittedly left it running; also, if he was seriously in need of help, would have left them on to make himself more visible. Maybe they decided to drive up that road thinking it would be easier to get to the car and ask for directions. It also may have seemed closer than it was at night.
It says in the original article that the driver’s side window was down in the boy’s car. I think if someone was driving up a road like that, at least if I was, hanging out the window to see where I was going would make it rather easy not to damage the car. You take it slow, and you watch where you are going out the window.
But then they get stuck. At this point, they get out of the car, maybe one of them goes out to take a piss. All of a sudden some guy starts screaming for help up the mountain. If the wind was blowing (maybe this explains the whistles that Shones heard), or there was recent snow, then that plays hell with echoes and it is hard to tell where sound is coming from. The calls for help may have very well sounded like they were coming from another direction uphill and out in the woods. The article states that one of the boys would help anyone in need. This may explain why they didn’t continue on to Shones car, but perhaps thought someone had left that car and was now lost out in the woods.
At that point, all it would take is one of them running out into the woods in the wrong direction and the others chasing off after him for the group to get lost; this seems even more plausible with their mental capacity – one of them could have just bolted thinking that someone needed help out in the woods. It’s night, possibly windy, and there is fresh snow. Whoever was yelling for help has gone silent, and now you are in the woods. They kept going uphill looking for whoever was yelling for help, got lost, there was a fresh snow, and the rest is history. Three of them died from exposure, the other two made it to a cabin. However, since three of them were already dead, it makes sense that the remaining two would have been in dire straits at that point. I think they got in the cabin, ate what was available, and Mathias, in the best condition somehow, took the best pair of shoes available, wrapped his friend up, and tried to get to help. They probably didn’t even check for more food or for heat, or didn’t have the mental capacity at that point to work it out. There is a note about a mysterious watch with a broken crystal, but that could have been discarded by a camper and found in the cabin – it was broken, after all.
RE #1: Gary Mathias – We will never truly have an answer to what actually happened that night, but a lot of the strange behavior is familiar to me since I work in a group home for this exact population. It’s a group home for men with mild intellectual disabilities, just like the men here. They can do a lot of things, but their lives and capabilities rely heavily on rules and routines and exact steps. They may be able to cook a grilled cheese sandwich, but if you tell them to cook a grilled ham and cheese sandwich, they will stand there utterly perplexed unless you stand next to them and walk them through step by step.
What I can’t figure out is why and how they ended up where they did. Did the driver just get turned around somehow from a missed exit, road construction, or traffic detour? These things are minor annoyances to a neurotypical person but can be devastating to someone with mental problems or intellectual disabilities.
Aside from how they ended up so far away from home, a lot of the behavior is familiar to me because of where I work. The abandoned car. When the guys at the group home I work at become stressed out and agitated, they will often run away from home. We then have to call the police to bring them back. The reasons they run away from home often don’t make logical sense or they seem like an overreaction. Like if a storm is coming a guy who is afraid of thunder storms will then run away from home…. Into the storm lol. So, I’m thinking that the guys somehow became lost and ended up far out of their way… For whatever reason. Lost, they then began to panic. The car got stuck in the snowbank. Now, completely panicked, they decided they are afraid of the car since driving is what got them lost, and decided to bail from the car and just walk instead. That, or they simply were too panicked to figure out how to push the car out and thought the snowcats tracks would lead them to civilization.
From there things become more easy to explain. They followed the snowcat trail to the trailer. Sterling and Madruga succombed to the elements along the way. Weiher and Huett made it to the trailer. Now, being familiar with this population I kind of understand what happened. There was a fireplace, matches, and books to use to burn to keep warm. But, if they had been told their whole lives that setting things on fire was unsafe and inappropriate, they would have not been able to put together that it was a good idea to do in that situation. The food rations. If they were unfamiliar with what they looked like, they may not have even recognized it as food. Or maybe they didn’t know how to open the packaging. Or how to prepare it. The clothes in the trailer. They may have only recognized their own winter clothes as the appropriate things to wear when they get cold. Or they may have feared legal consequences for taking someone else’s property without permission. The guys at our work have to be told and taught how to pick weather appropriate clothing. Even when they are sooooo high functioning that you kind of forget about their intellectual disability. Then it will be an unseasonably warm day in the 60’s or 70’s and they’re still wearing their winter jackets. Why? Because no staff told them it was okay not to. Like, you forget what you’re dealing with but then something like that happens and you’re like, “Ope. There it is.”
I don’t know. Some things about this case are a mystery like how they got out to the mountain in the first place or the unexplained sighting from the guy having a heart attack. But then there are so many behaviors that seem familiar to me that make me learn more towards thinking the whole thing was just an accident that ended in tragedy. I think Mathias probably succombed to the elements and his body was just never found. It’s a lot of wilderness to get lost in and several months of animal scavenging may have scattered and lost his remains
Except… it is said that he died in the cabin after 8-13 weeks, and having lost 80-100 pounds. Some of the food was eaten, but there was enough food left to feed 5 men for a year. Would it not occur to him during those 8-13 weeks to check the locker to see if there was more food? He had some food that he rationed and ate during those weeks, or he would’ve died after ~2 weeks due to starvation. So why did he think there was so little food in the first place? Why not build a fire to prevent his frostbite? There were matches, material to sustain a fire and even a propane tank. It makes no sense at all.
This sticks out: “The growth of beard on his face showed that he had lived apparently, in starving agony inside that trailer, for anywhere from eight to 13 weeks.”
The growth of the beard?
Couldn’t that have happened outside the trailer? I’d like to know how they came to the 8 to 13 weeks number, because if it was only due to the growth of the beard then that means nothing, he could have grown that while starving to death and losing all that weight out in the wilderness trying to find shelter.
Another source said that when they found him he was wrapped in the sheet “like a shroud” and indicated that they thought someone else would have had to have done it. His head was wrapped too, according to that article.
I just don’t understand why they thought they were in that trailer for so long. I mean, the weight loss could have happened before they go to the trailer, same with the beard growth. If there are other reasons they think they were in that trailer for so long, I don’t see them listed. Maybe I am missing it.
I just don’t see them (or just him) walking around in the wilderness for 8-13 weeks without dying quickly. It was february and there was snow, so it must’ve been very cold (he had frostbitten toes, too), there are many hungry predators about, there’s probably little to nothing to eat, so you’d think that he’d have starved way sooner.
But even if you believe that he was only in the trailer during his last few days, why would he not immediately eat the food and make a fire? He was strong enough to climb through the broken window to enter the trailer, and someone went to the shed to get food. But for some reason, that person didn’t take the huge amount of food in the locker. If they’d just used that food and made a fire or use the propane tank, the probably would’ve been fine.
RE: #4 Beatriz Winck – How sad, it’s crazy how many things can go wrong with tourists. If she was feeling unwell, is it possible she was disoriented and got lost somewhere? This basilica sounds like a big tourist destination. Looks like there’s a river very close to the church, as well as forests and open vegetation. Maybe she intended to go back to the hotel and got disoriented. How was the weather that day, could she have been dehydrated?
Hi. I tried finding info about the surrounding area but can’t tell you for sure the type of vegetation around the Basilica, if it’s large enough to get lost etc . Only by pictures we can have some idea. It looks like she could get lost in the vegetation our get to the river you found, but only if she walked a lot to leave the urban area. With so many people around, it’s hard to believe no one noticed her. But yes, it could happen. I’ve never been to Aparecida but I know some people who have. I’ll ask them if they think it’s easy to get lost in city..
RE: #10 – Lars Mittank – I still think he died of dehydration somewhere in the nature and his body hasnt been found yet..maybe at some obvious location.
This is the most likely scenario in my opinion. Perhaps the fight he got into caused a brain injury, or he had another kind of undiagnosed mental disorder.
The fight might not have even happened. No one saw the fight Lars ended up split up from his friends after arguing with some football fans and when they found him later he told them that those fans hired people to beat him up. Ears can rupture through travel or infection. It’s possible that was unrelated and it was simply a mental issue. Of course people with serious delusional disorders are at high risk of being harmed by others because they can come across threatening to others so i wouldn’t be surprised if he was attacked. The story about fans hiring people is almost certainly nonsense though.
I have read that for the injury he was given antibiotics. It makes me wonder if the ear rupture was caused by an infection. It’s not typical to prescribe antibiotics for that unless there’s sign of infection, and unless there’s other injuries that haven’t been mentioned, no other reason to prescribe antibiotics. Take out the rupture, and the other injuries are as explainable by a drunken fall as they are by a fight.
Antibiotics aren’t strictly indicated for rupture, but are fairly commonly prescribed anyway. Especially if contamination is suspected.
RE: #7 – Michael Henley and Tara Calico – The Polariod film used in the picture was made in June 1989. 9 months after her abduction.
I remember hearing about other photos that were found as well. I found them here the sheriff does seem to feel sure of his belief about what happened
Wow. The picture from Albuquerque really resembles the boy in the original Polaroid. Why have police never spoken about these letters?? Did they ever identify the boy in either of the photos? I’ve heard about the Calico case many times but never have I heard about this part of it & the possible connection!
So the bike was never found. I think this probably lends to the theory of hit-and-run. I can’t see a kidnapper bothering to take a bike if he only wanted the girl.
I wonder if the kidnapper hit her in order to capture her, hence the reported broken pieces of her tape player and skidmarks, then took both her and the bike to limit evidence? (For example, in case paint from his car was on the bike.)
This is what happened in a case in my town. Mickey Shunick was riding a bike and was hit by her abductor (at low speeds). He pretended it was an accident. He convinced her let him give her a ride. He put her bike in his truck bed. If you believe you’ll return home, you don’t want to just leave your bike.
RE #7: – Tara Calico – The local police have always stuck by the theory that Tara Calico was accidentally run over by two local teenage boys, whose parents then helped them cover it up by hiding the body. They believe they know who it is, but evidence is lacking. That seems plausible. The boys might have been tailing her for fun and then something went wrong. It is unlikely that the parents will ever admit the truth, should that be the case, though siblings if there are any, might very well figure it out and decide to turn them in. So it is possible someone will eventually confirm that theory.
I think the photograph has nothing to do with the case. One thing that does strike me is that given how heavily publicised it has been, no one has come forward to identify the two youngsters, neither have they emerged. The person who dropped the photo hasn’t claimed it. I suppose it’s possible the right people just missed all the fuss. Or they didn’t want to associate themselves with the circus round the photograph if it was just a prank picture. Being known as the kids who weren’t kidnapped after all might be something they didn’t want to live down especially if they came from a small town.
Yes, when I went down the rabbit hole on this case a few years ago I realized it’s pretty much solved. I’m pretty sure there’s an extensive case report out there from one of the later Sheriff’s assigned to the case with interviews etc. I also thought the main suspects were deceased, and at least one was related to the Sheriff a the time. There have been a few write ups on this sub over the years which likely have more details.