Donald Emerson Curtiss Jr.

Curtiss, circa 1969

  • Missing Since 11/08/1969
  • Missing From Tucson, Arizona
  • Classification Lost/Injured Missing
  • Sex Male
  • Race
  • Age 18 years old
  • Height and Weight 5'6 - 5'8, 155 - 165 pounds
  • Distinguishing Characteristics Caucasian male. Brown hair, green eyes. Curtiss's nickname is Don. Some agencies spell his last name "Curtis."

Details of Disappearance

Curtiss was last seen in Tucson, Arizona on November 8, 1969. He and a friend, Brian McNamara, hiked out into the Catalina Mountains to look for gold. They had a metal detector and possibly an inhaler with them. They planned to return to Tucson that same day; they were living at the YMCA there.

On November 15, McNamara came out of the mountains in Upper Sabino Canyon and hitchhiked back to Tucson. His clothes were in tatters and his feet were in bad shape. He stated a sudden winter storm had caught him and Curtiss on top of Mount Lemmon and they had gotten lost. Curtiss had developed severe leg cramps and was unable to walk, so McNamara left him and went to seek help.

An extensive search, lasting six days, turned up no indication of Curtiss's whereabouts. His case remains unsolved, but foul play is not suspected; he is believed to have died of exposure in the mountains. Phoenix, Arizona police are investigating.

Investigating Agency

  • Phoenix Police Department 602-261-8065

Updated 1 time since October 12, 2004. Last updated August 7, 2018; casefile added.