James Martin Roberts

Roberts, circa 2016; Roberts's forearm tattoo

  • Missing Since 04/21/2016
  • Missing From Boone, North Carolina
  • Classification Endangered Missing
  • Date of Birth 08/19/1996 (22)
  • Age 19 years old
  • Height and Weight 5'9 - 5'11, 140 - 150 pounds
  • Clothing/Jewelry Description An Appalachian State University windbreaker, a black shirt with three-quarter-length sleeves, khaki shorts, gray shoes (possibly New Balance brand), white socks and a white golf visor.
  • Distinguishing Characteristics Caucasian male. Brown hair, blue eyes. Roberts has a tattoo of blue, black and red mountains on in the inside of his left forearm and a tattoo of a quote from a Bob Marley song in black lettering on the right side of his ribcage. A photo of the forearm tattoo is posted below this case summary. Roberts goes by his middle name, Martin.

Details of Disappearance

Roberts was last seen walking away from the Appalcart bus stop at the corner of Rivers Street and Blowing Rock Road in Boone, North Carolina on April 21, 2016, near the Holmes Convocation Center at Appalachian State University. He has never been heard from again.

He is from Kernersville, North Carolina and was living in Boone and and attending Caldwell Community College & Technical Institute at the time of his disappearance. The last phone conversation he had with his father was normal, and Roberts said they'd talk to tomorrow, but he never called and didn't reply to his father's text messages.

Several days later, Roberts's father became concerned and contacted his son's landlord, who spoke to his roommates, who checked Roberts's room. He wasn't there and he'd left behind his cellular phone and other electronic devices, as well as a note.

The note was vague, but said Roberts was leaving because he had not taken advantage of opportunities he had and he was disappointed. The note did not specifically mention that Roberts planned to harm himself, and his father did not interpret it as a suicide note. Extensive searches of the area turned up no evidence as to his whereabouts.

Roberts had initially enrolled at Appalachian State University after high school, and joined the Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity, but took a semester off to work at home and then enrolled at the community college to boost his academic performance.

His friends said he seemed to take his schoolwork more seriously and was more quiet and reserved and less social on his return to school. His grades did improve and he was set to return to Appalachian State in the fall.

Roberts is a talented soccer player and also enjoys hiking and camping, particularly around the Blue Ridge Parkway and in the Appalachian Mountains. He didn't have access to a vehicle when he went missing, and because of the circumstances of his disappearance, his family is concerned for his safety. His case remains unsolved.

Investigating Agency

  • Boone Police Department 828-268-6900

Updated 1 time since October 12, 2004. Last updated April 24, 2017; casefile added.