Nicholas Howard Buttle

Above: Buttle, circa 2001


Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance

  • Missing Since: December 7, 2001 from Los Angeles County, California
  • Classification: Lost/Injured Missing
  • Date Of Birth: April 5, 1946
  • Age: 55 years old
  • Height and Weight: 5'9, 160 pounds
  • Distinguishing Characteristics: Caucasian male. Brown hair, hazel eyes. Buttle may have a mustache. He has a tattoo of two greyhounds on his right shoulder.
  • Clothing/Jewelry Description: A t-shirt or a blue tank top, black shorts and no life vest.
  • Bar

    Details of Disappearance

    Buttle and his friend, Eric Alan Hammer, departed from Corral State Beach in Los Angeles County, California on December 7, 2001. They paddled a two-person kayak out to a yacht that they anchored 600 yards offshore to perform work on the boat. The National Weather Service issued several advisories regarding strong winds that approached the area during the day. Buttle and Hammer encountered intensifying conditions at sea while returning to shore. Buttle was knocked out of the kayak near Dan Blocker County Beach shortly thereafter. He has never been heard from again.

    Authorities rescued Hammer later that evening. He was located approximately three miles off of the coast. The men's kayak and their two paddles were also recovered at the scene. Hammer was treated for hypothermia at a local hospital. He said he and Buttle had gotten separated about half an hour before he himself was rescued. Authorities continued searching for Buttle by air and sea until December 8, the day after his disappearance. He is presumed drowned, but his remains have never been located. Buttle continues to be classified as a missing person.

    Buttle was a resident of Malibu, California in 2001.


    Investigating Agency
    If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
    Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department


    Source Information
    California Attorney General's Office
    The Las Vegas Review-Journal
    The San Jose Mercury News
    The Daily News Of Los Angeles
    United States Coast Guard


    Updated 1 time since October 12, 2004.

    Last updated March 29, 2012; distinguishing characteristics, clothing/jewelry description and details of disappearance updated.

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