Justin Lee Richardson

Justin, circa 2001; Age-progression to age 23 (circa 2011)

  • Missing Since 07/02/2001
  • Missing From Grand Canyon, Arizona
  • Classification Endangered Missing
  • Date of Birth 06/06/1988 (30)
  • Age 13 years old
  • Height and Weight 4'10, 100 pounds
  • Clothing/Jewelry Description A red Chicago Bulls basketball jersey and denim shorts.
  • Distinguishing Characteristics Brown hair, brown eyes. Justin's nickname is Little Man. At the time of his disappearance, his hair was shaved on the sides and long on top.

Details of Disappearance

Justin was last seen in Kaibab National Forest in Arizona on June 29, 2001. He and some three friends, who were all between the ages of 18 and 21, had gone into to an area a few miles south of Grand Canyon National Park and five miles west of Moqui Lodge (which has since been torn down). Authorities believe he had been partying and was under the influence of drugs, possibly methamphetamine.

Justin and his three friends got separated, and two of them got lost. Justin and another friend went to Tusayan, Arizona and asked another friend to help look for the missing pair. In the meantime, the two missing ones were located by Grand Canyon Railway employees south of Tusayan, Arizona, but Justin didn't know this.

Justin and another of his friends returned to the Kaibab National Forest, at a spot five miles from Tusayan and fifteen miles from where their friends had been found some time earlier. His companion went to sleep at 9:00 a.m. When he woke up at 5:00 p.m., Justin was gone.

He has never been heard from again. His father reported him missing on July 1. An extensive search of the area turned up no sign of him.

Justin had been to the area four times before he disappeared, and was very familiar with it; he'd never gotten lost before. Authorities aren't sure whether he did in fact lose track of his surroundings. He had run away from home once before, and it's possible he tried to do so again and was picked up hitchhiking by a passing motorist.

Investigators believe foul play is possible in Justin's case; they think he could have been killed in the forest shortly after his disappearance. If he did leave of his own accord, he may have tried to go to Chicago, Illinois to see his girlfriend.

Justin lived with his father in Tusayan at the time of his disappearance, and is described a popular teen with many friends. Investigators believe he'd been abusing drugs and alcohol for about a year prior to going missing. His case remains unsolved and foul play is suspected.

Investigating Agency

  • Coconino County Sheriff's Department 800-338-7888

Updated 5 times since October 12, 2004. Last updated February 27, 2018; details of disappearance updated.