Part II: Crime Victim Sergeant Patrick Rust

As what usually happens in discussing missing persons/former missing persons: I think I can cover the topic adequately in one or two posts, but later realize I cannot.  So, here is the second and not the last post on the Rust case...

Case Summary

On March 16, 2007 at about 1 am, US Army Sergeant Patrick Rust, who had recently returned from a tour in Afghanistan, left a bar called Clueless in Watertown, NY. Rust had been drinking with friends at the establishment for several hours, was apparently intoxicated, and the bartender refused to serve him any more.

After leaving the bar, investigators reported that Rust's phone was used twice to call one of the friend's he had talked with that night/morning. Police have been unable to find anyone who saw him alive again.

The sergeant's roommate, also active-duty, told police that he had not seen the missing man since the day before and that Rust did not return home from the bar that morning. Rust did not show-up for work at Fort Drum that next morning and Rust's mother, the roommate, and his supervisor subsequently reported him missing the following Monday.

Six months later, Rust's skeletal remains were found in a field six miles from the bar. An autopsy was inconclusive as to a cause of death.

Observations (Continued)

--Reportedly, Rust's wallet and ID were recovered with his body.  The wallet contained $80--making it less likely to believe that robbery was a motive in this case.

--According to the CrimeWire case broadcast, Rust was not wearing a heavy jacket, gloves, or a hat the very cold morning that he left on foot from the bar and vanished.
--Rust had moved into his off-base apartment with the new roommate the day prior to when he went missing.  Allegedly, Rust's personal belongings were removed from his apartment prior to him being reported missing to local police (after military officials knew).

--Rust's roommate told investigators that he contacted Rust's supervisor and told him that (Rust) would not be reporting for duty as scheduled that morning.  This contact was made two hours prior to when Rust was scheduled to start his shift.


One of the local news services requested (via the Freedom of Information Act or FOIA) and was granted access to some of the investigative reports.

From this, they learned about specific angles that investigators have focused.

When someone disappears, accurate and inaccurate portrayals of the individual begin to appear--creating additional pain for the families and sometimes causing the investigation to be misdirected.

With that said, I want to be careful and respectful in discussing some additional information; as there have been some allegations made about Sgt. Rust.
I do want to offer some insights on two additional and controversial aspects of the Rust case:
  • The "Clueless" bar is known as an alternative lifestyle or gay (evidently not exclusively lesbian/gay though) bar; and,
  • Sgt. Rust reportedly discussed trying to obtain cocaine the night he vanished.

I'll continue there next time; specifically with why investigators would be very interested in these two bits of information.     
More information on this case can be found at or my other posts on Sgt. Rust are here


J. J. in Phila said...

I think you can rule out robbery altogether. The possibility that he died due to exposure is very likely.

The two aspects that you mentioned are interesting, and I'd to see where those go.

Maxi said...

Sgt. Rust wasn't wearing a warm jacket on this extremely cold day, and his personal belongings were removed from the apartment before he was reported missing?

Also, his roommate calls his work 2 hrs. before the Sgt. is to report.

This is very curious.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

That part about the roommate phoning in is strange. Any reason why he did that?

carma said...

I can't believe this one has been open since 2007 - did they ever think to grill the roommate for hours like you see on Dateline. This one seems like a "slam dunk."

BobKat said...

Is it certain he left the bar alone?

What was he wearing - coat - when he left the bar?

Being gay, seeking drugs is not unusual, not in itself a reason for a military man these days to be murdered.

The roommate calling him in and missing personal items at his new home are very troubling.

Look forwards to your next post.

ZaSu Says said...

Please remember to listen to the Simon Barrett show on Blog Talk Radio on Sunday, August 14, at 4 p.m. Eastern. He’s going to profile Patrick’s case. The show URL is click here