What is Missing from this Flyer?

Two weeks ago, police in Salt Lake City (UT) announced that they were reopening three separate cold cases of four missing persons--one adult and three juveniles. 

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?    
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Reed Taylor Jeppson

DOB: May 28, 1949

Date Missing: October 11, 1964

Missing From: Salt Lake City, UT

Sex: Male

Race: White

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
(801) 799-3000

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.
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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.   
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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.

17 comments:

Ann T. said...

Dear Slamdunk,
I read this and give myself a big fat duh. You are a researcher extraordinaire. Not only that, I think I would like to know in general, what a German shorthaired pointer looked like. I can look that up though.

Thanks for a great lesson!
location, location, location!

Ann T.

itsaelaine said...

First off, great blog! Second, I'd go with the lack of last seen location information as a mistake, too. It's quite disturbing that this young man was never found. I wonder what the ultimate outcome from re-opening these cases will be.

Matthew Rush said...

Pretty ambitious to re-open a case after that long. I'm not saying it's not commendable, just that chances of new information seem slim.

malone8 said...

Seems to me a must to describe the dogs and location if they expect to jog the memory of people living in that area.

Someone may still be around that saw something that day.

Momma Fargo said...

Great post! So true!

Tara said...

That was a pretty big omission, good catch.

I have to wonder how many old cases like this had parental involvement. (Just in general - I know nothing about this particualr case.)

Creepy Query Girl said...

Although I think it's great that they're reopening case detail this way, you're right in that there's no use in doing it half ass. As for this case in particular- really spooky. what could have happened to a young boy and two dogs?

Lydia Kang said...

These are fascinating and horrifying at the same time. I'm glad that you put so much effort into the details...it's amazing.

LadyFi said...

You're right - not mentioning the location is rather strange! Although perhaps people would remember the dogs?

obladi oblada said...

Location in detail is a must, especially in a large city, even as "large" as Salt Lake. Just because people in that area, may perk up a little when they hear it..if just Salt Lake is said, then a lot of people from S.L will ignore the rest, not pay close attention like they would when they hear a specific area they were in.

Bob G. said...

Slamdunk:
THJis boy could have been from MY area (Indiana), for all the flyer stated.
Picture of the dogs would have helped, too.
( I don't know every breed, either)

Luisa Doraz said...

I do believe that ALL information is needed in these cases, even what the dogs looked like. I try to always give information. I never know what would be considered important. :)

Jan said...

Hi Slamdunk,
I say with these cold cases you never know when somebody suddenly remembers something or decides to talk for the first time. Let's hope and pray that they find out what happened to Reed all those years ago.
Thanks for the post!
Jan

J. J. in Phila said...

Great post. I would have missed it as well.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I'm lucky if I remember what I ate for dinner a week ago, never mind remembering something that happened that long ago . . . if you forget the part about me not being born yet.

Hopefully they have better luck now.

Herding Cats said...

I would have missed that, but it's such a vital piece of information. Hopefully, they will change it?

Holly said...

You are good...I looked and looked and red and never dawned on me that was missing. I would be curious to follow along with this case...after so many years...is there a chance?