The oldest case (1964) is the strange disappearance of then fifteen-year-old Reed Taylor Jeppson.
Jeppson was last seen leaving his family's home to walk his dogs at around 12:30 pm on a Sunday in October. No trace of the boy or his two German Shorthaired Pointers was ever found.
Authorities are publicizing the Jeppson disappearance via a new website that was established by the agency for cold case missing persons.
You can access the original Jeppson flyer as a PDF document here, or I listed the text below.
What is absent from this flyer?
Reed Taylor Jeppson
DOB: May 28, 1949
Date Missing: October 11, 1964
Missing From: Salt Lake City, UT
Hair: Medium blond hair
Eyes: Blue eyes
Height: 5 feet, 6 inches
Weight: 140 lbs.
Clothing: Blue Levi jeans, white cotton, knit shirt, gym shoes, and a reversible parka (black on one side, blue on the other).
Anyone with information on this or any other Missing Person case is asked to contact the Salt Lake City Police Department. Callers may remain anonymous.
SALT LAKE CITY POLICE DEPARTMENT
Case Details: Family members last saw Reed Taylor Jeppson Sunday, October 11, 1964, at 12:30 p.m. as he went to feed his two German Shorthaired Pointers. Reed, who had upper and lower dental braces, was wearing blue Levi jeans, a white cotton knit shirt, gym shoes, and a reversible parka (black on one side, blue on the other). His dogs were never found either.
What vital piece of information is missing?
How about telling the public what neighborhood and street address the boy disappeared from?
Though it is not the most populated communities in the US, Salt Lake City is a state capitol and had a population of about 190,000 in 1960.
Trying to jog person's memory about what he/she saw four decades ago is obviously a difficult task, but failing to provide an address where Jeppson was last seen to help folks recall, makes the effort nearly impossible.
Outside of the teen's description and the mention of the dogs, including Jeppson's last known location is essential in trying develop new leads from the public.
I assume it is simply an oversight since these details are posted to the Utah Department of Public Safety's site:
"...Reed was last seen in the vicinity of St. Mary of the Wasatch on the East bench of Salt Lake City, Sunday, October 11, 1964..."This is much better than simply missing from Salt Lake City.
In addition, stating that "callers will remain anonymous" and then providing a general police department phone number to the public for questions about cases is a flawed system for protecting identities.
Using a dedicated phone number for anonymous reporting, as well as an electronic system for anonymous tips, would give citizens greater confidence that their contact information will be handled discreetly--as opposed to the thought of being transferred to a handful of employees before the tip reaches its destination.
Note: My blog is simply a place for me to state an opinion on police matters. I do value the time of authorities and do not typically bother investigators with conjecture regarding the cases I discuss.
Conversely, when I do see an omission or error that I believe is salient to a case, I will contact the investigating agency. Regarding the Jeppson's case described above, I did contact the Salt Lake City Police Department and suggested that the address information be added to their missing person flyer.
This is the second time that I have contacted investigators directly in a case--the first instance is described here.