Dale Kerstetter

Kerstetter, circa 1987

  • Missing Since 09/12/1987
  • Missing From Bradford, Pennsylvania
  • Classification Endangered Missing
  • Date of Birth 03/07/1937 (81)
  • Age 50 years old
  • Height and Weight 5'4, 130 pounds
  • Distinguishing Characteristics Caucasian male. Gray hair, brown eyes.

Details of Disappearance

Kerstetter was last seen on September 12, 1987 at 11 p.m. during his weekend shift. He worked as a maintenance man and a security guard at Corning Glassworks in Bradford, Pennsylvania; he had been employed there for 29 years.

The next morning, on September 13, a fellow security guard found Kerstetter's lunch pail, newspaper and keys on a cafeteria table. Kerstetter's truck was still in the parking lot.

A search of the truck showed that Kerstetter's truck keys were still in the ignition and his .22 caliber gun holster was inside the vehicle, but the gun itself was missing. A carton of cigarettes and Kerstetter's day pack were also found.

No sign of Kerstetter was found in and around the plant. There was no indication of forced entry and no signs of a struggle.

A police dog traced Kerstetter's scent to the second floor of the plant where the glass furnace was located. This area was not part of Kerstetter's normal security rounds. They discovered that $250,000 worth of platinum pipe was missing.

An examination of security tapes from three security cameras showed a masked intruder in the back of the plant. In one shot, the intruder was seen around the area where the platinum was missing. In a second shot, Kerstetter is seen talking to the masked intruder.

As both Kerstetter and the intruder walked out of the second floor, Kerstetter looked directly into the security camera. Authorities do not know if Kerstetter was signaling for help or flaunting a crime.

A third shot shows the intruder wheeling out a large bag. Police speculate that the bag contained the missing platinum or Kerstetter's body.

Kerstetter was having financial problems at the time of his disappearance, and Bradford police believe that he willingly participated in the robbery. His family disagrees, stating he was very close to his six children and would not have abandoned them.

One of Kerstetter's daughters noted that security guards at the plant were supposed to check in every hour. Between 11 p.m. and 4 a.m., he did not check in.

Kerstetter's case remains unsolved and foul play is suspected in his disappearance.

Investigating Agency

  • Pennsylvania State Police 814-938-0532

Updated 2 times since October 12, 2004. Last updated October 11, 2015; picture added, details of disappearance updated.