Charles Ellsworth Duke

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Above: Duke, circa 2003

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Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance

  • Missing Since: August 16, 2003 from La Junta, Colorado
  • Classification: Endangered Missing
  • Date of Birth: August 10, 1946
  • Age: 57 years old
  • Height and Weight: 5'11, 155 pounds
  • Distinguishing Characteristics: Caucasian male. Brown hair, hazel eyes. Duke's nickname is Chuck. He has a scar on his right elbow.
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    Details of Disappearance

    Duke was last seen in La Junta, Colorado on August 16, 2003. He and a companion, Pam Eddings, were traveling in Duke's niece's blue and gray minivan in the Vogel Canyon area south of La Junta. According to Eddings, the van became high-centered and they decided to abandon it and walk back to town. Eddings said she was unable to make the trip and Duke left her and went for help at approximately 12:00 p.m. He never arrived home and has never been heard from again. A rancher eventually found Eddings and took her back to La Junta. The van was found on August 18, in a pasture about 44 miles south of La Junta.

    In late September 2003, six weeks after Duke's disappearance, the Ordway, Colorado residence owned by him and occupied by his niece and her family caught fire after an explosion. A man and three young children were severely burned in the fire, but all the victims recovered from their injuries. Authorities determined the fire was arson, but they haven't connected it to Duke's disappearance. Duke is an avid fisherman. He was born in Piqua, Ohio and later lived in Kentucky. He is a U.S. Army veteran and was wounded in the Vietnam War. His case remains unsolved and his family believes he was murdered.

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    Investigating Agency
    If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
    Otero County Sheriff’s Office
    719-384-5941

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    Source Information
    Colorado Bureau of Investigation
    The La Junta Tribune-Democrat
    Missing Veterans
    NamUs
    North American Missing Persons Network
    Families of Homicide Victims and Missing Persons

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    Updated 2 times since October 12, 2004.

    Last updated April 19, 2016; height and weight added, distinguishing characteristics and details of disappearance updated.

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