Joseph Michael Gutierrez

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Above Images: Joseph, circa 1983


Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance

  • Missing Since: September 3, 1983 from Sanborn Township, Michigan
  • Classification: Lost/Injured Missing
  • Age: 16 years old
  • Height and Weight: 5'9, 180 pounds
  • Distinguishing Characteristics: Hispanic male. Brown hair, brown eyes. Joseph's nickname is Joey. He has a brown birthmark on the back of his thigh.
  • Clothing/Jewelry Description: Either swimming trunks or cut-off jeans. Possibly carrying a pocketknife.
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    Details of Disappearance

    Joseph was last seen in Sanborn Township, Michigan on September 3, 1983. He and his sixteen-year-old friend Christopher Jedra were dropped off by Christopher's parents for an overnight camping trip in the South Point area near Alpena, Michigan, on the shores of Lake Huron. The next day, when Christopher's parents arrived at the boys' campsite, they found it deserted. The tent was set up in the woods fifty feet from the shore, with the boys' t-shirts and underwear hanging on it. Their pants were on the ground outside the tent and their boots and unrolled sleeping bags were inside the tent. The boys' dog was tied to the tent; it had water but its food dish was empty. Joseh and Christopher had bought three cans of dog food with them, and had used only one.

    A photo of Christopher is posted below this case summary. His body was found floating half a mile offshore of North Point on September 19; Joseph was never located in spite of an extensive search. Authorities believe both boys drowned while trying to swim to Bird Island, half a mile offshore. Although the water is no more than twelve feet deep, Joseph isn't a good swimmer.

    Christopher was a student at Bishop Borgess High School at the time of his death; Joseph attended St. Florian High School. The boys, who both lived in Detroit, met each other through the Sea Cadets, a pre-Navy program. Joseph's body has never been located.

    Above: Christopher Jedra


    Investigating Agency
    If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
    Michigan State Police


    Source Information
    Find a Grave
    The Ludington Daily News
    The Detroit Free Press


    Updated 2 times since October 12, 2004.

    Last updated January 10, 2017; picture added, clothing/jewelry description and details of disappearance updated.

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