Joseph Michael Gutierrez

Joseph, circa 1983; Christopher Jedra

  • Missing Since 09/03/1983
  • Missing From Sanborn Township, Michigan
  • Classification Lost/Injured Missing
  • Sex Male
  • Race Hispanic
  • Date of Birth 11/17/1967 (51)
  • Age 16 years old
  • Height and Weight 5'9, 150 - 180 pounds
  • Clothing/Jewelry Description Either swimming trunks or cut-off jeans. Possibly carrying a pocketknife.
  • Distinguishing Characteristics Hispanic male. Brown hair, brown eyes. Joseph's nickname is Joey. He has a brown birthmark on the back of his thigh.

Details of Disappearance

Joseph was last seen in Sanborn Township, Michigan on September 3, 1983. He and his sixteen-year-old, friend Christopher Jedra, were dropped off by Christopher's parents for an overnight camping trip in the South Point area near Alpena, Michigan, on the shores of Lake Huron.

The next day, when Christopher's parents arrived at the boys' campsite, they found it deserted. The tent was set up in the woods fifty feet from the shore, with the boys' t-shirts and underwear hanging on it. Their pants were on the ground outside the tent and their boots and unrolled sleeping bags were inside the tent.

The boys' dog was tied to the tent; it had water but its food dish was empty. Joseph and Christopher had bought three cans of dog food with them, and had used only one.

A photo of Christopher is posted with this case summary. His body was found floating half a mile offshore of North Point on September 19; Joseph was never located in spite of an extensive search.

Authorities believe both boys drowned while trying to swim to Bird Island, half a mile offshore. Although the water is no more than twelve feet deep, Joseph isn't a good swimmer.

Christopher was a student at Bishop Borgess High School at the time of his death; Joseph attended St. Florian High School. The boys, who both lived in Detroit, met each other through the Sea Cadets, a pre-Navy program. Joseph's body has never been located.

Investigating Agency

  • Michigan State Police 989-354-4101

Updated 3 times since October 12, 2004. Last updated June 9, 2019; date of birth added.