Steve Lewis Arrowood Jr.

1 2 AP
Left and Center: Arrowood, circa 1975;
Right: Age-progression to an unknown age

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Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance

  • Missing Since: April 3, 1975 from Gastonia, North Carolina
  • Classification: Endangered Missing
  • Date of Birth: June 26, 1956
  • Age: 18 years old
  • Height and Weight: 5'8 - 5'9, 145 pounds
  • Distinguishing Characteristics: Caucasian male. Blond hair, blue eyes. Arrowood has a small reddish birthmark on his chin and a small scar under his chin. He may go by his middle name, Lewis, or the first name Steven. He is right-handed.
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    Details of Disappearance

    Arrowood was last seen in Gastonia, North Carolina on April 3, 1975. He lived with his parents at in the 400 block of Chestnut Street. He has never been heard from again. He left behind an uncashed income tax refund check for $500.

    Arrowood had previously left home without warning on March 9. He left a note for his parents but didn't say where he was going, and he withdrew $815 from his savings account. His parents got a letter from him on March 20 saying he was fine and had gotten a job. Arrowood had gone to Dallas, Texas to see a 30-year-old married woman he was having an affair with. The woman's husband, a long-distance truck driver, caught them on March 30 and threatened to kill him. The woman agreed to travel to New Orleans, Louisiana with her husband as long as he didn't kill Arrowood. Arrowood returned to Gastonia on March 31. His lover denied having ever seen him again after he left Texas. A letter addressed to Arrowood and postmarked New Orleans arrived in the mail on April 7, three days after his disappearance. The authorities opened it and read it, thinking it would provide clues to his whereabouts, but they said it didn't contain any valuable information.

    In the days after his return home, Arrowood told his friends he thought the woman's husband was following him. On the day of his disappearance, he had dinner with his sister at Fern Forest Apartments and then went out with a friend. While he was with his friend, Arrowood said he saw his lover's husband's car with the man inside it. Arrowood's friend couldn't see the driver, but the car did follow them as they drove away. Arrowood dropped his friend off at home on east Third Street at 10:30 p.m., and this is the last time anyone saw him. Several hours later, his 1971 Toyota was found parked near the swimming pool at Fern Forest Apartments. The vehicle's door was open, Arrowood's belongings were inside it, the keys were in the ignition and a pair of men's underwear was lying on the ground behind the car.

    Two weeks after Arrowood went missing, police located and questioned his lover's husband. He refused to take a polygraph test and they let him go. This individual has never been publicly identified and it's unclear whether he's considered a suspect in the case.

    Arrowood's father died in 2008 and his mother died in 2012. In their obituary, it was noted that Arrowood predeceased them. His four sisters are still alive. Foul play is suspected in Arrowood's disappearance; it remains unsolved.

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    Investigating Agency
    If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
    Gastonia Police Department
    704-866-3300

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    Source Information
    Porchlight International for the Missing and Unidentified
    NamUs
    The Gastonia Gazette
    NamUs
    Find a Grave

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    Updated 5 times since October 12, 2004.

    Last updated December 12, 2015; details of disappearance updated.

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