Victor Dewight Shoemaker Jr.

Victor, circa 1994; Age-progression to age 24 (circa 2013)

  • Missing Since 05/01/1994
  • Missing From Kirby, West Virginia
  • Classification Lost/Injured Missing
  • Sex Male
  • Race White
  • Date of Birth 03/30/1989 (31)
  • Age 5 years old
  • Height and Weight 4'0, 40 pounds
  • Clothing/Jewelry Description A red Bugs Bunny t-shirt, red shorts, and white X-Men or Nickelodeon sneakers.
  • Distinguishing Characteristics Caucasian male. Blond hair, blue eyes. Some agencies spell Victor's middle name "Dwight." His nickname is J.R.

Details of Disappearance

Victor was visiting his grandfather in Kirby, West Virginia with his family in May 1994. He was last seen playing with his two older male cousins, aged eight and nine, in a wooded area behind their grandfather's mobile home, near Short Mountain on May 1, 1994.

According to the two other boys, they went into the woods with a BB gun to play, and Victor was having trouble keeping up with them. When they reached an abandoned trailer at 8:30 a.m., Victor said he was hungry and wanted to go home. His cousins refused to to come back with him, so he turned around and started back to his grandfather's home by himself. He never arrived and has never been heard from again.

Investigators do not suspect foul play in Victor's case; they believe he became lost and died of exposure. The terrain in the Short Mountain area is very rough and rocky. Victor's disappearance was followed by five days of rainy weather with temperatures dipping down to near freezing at night. If he had been without shelter, he would not have survived. Victor's father, however, stated his son knew the woods very well and would not have gotten lost.

When Victor's parents asked his cousins where they'd last seen Victor, they initially named the wrong location, perhaps because they were afraid of getting into trouble. They had been supposed to keep an eye on him and weren't supposed to play near abandoned trailers. The two boys later changed their story and provided the correct location of Victor's disappearance, about half a mile from his grandfather's home.

The two children were given a lie detector test and a play therapy exam designed especially for children, and passed. One of the boys' mothers also passed a polygraph, as did Victor's father. His mother was not asked to take one. Victor's family has not spoken to the cousins' families since his disappearance.

A dark blue 1990 model pickup truck was seen in the area around the time Victor vanished. It has not been proven that the truck is connected to his disappearance in any way, but police are interested in speaking to the driver and finding out what he or she knows about Victor's disappearance. His case remains unsolved.

Investigating Agency

  • West Virginia State Police 304-822-3561
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation 202-324-3000

Updated 7 times since October 12, 2004. Last updated November 2, 2020; details of disappearance updated.