Richard Thomas Hills

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Above Images: Hills, circa 2004

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Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance

  • Missing Since: February 24, 2004 from Anchorage, Alaska
  • Classification: Endangered Missing
  • Date Of Birth: June 4, 1968
  • Age: 35 years old
  • Height and Weight: 5'8 - 5'9, 155 pounds
  • Distinguishing Characteristics: Caucasian male. Graying brown hair, brown eyes. Hills's nicknames are Rick and Ricky.
  • Clothing/Jewelry Description: A Carhartt work jacket, a turtleneck and jeans.
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    Details of Disappearance

    Hills was last seen on February 24, 2004. That day he left his Soldotna, Alaska home to pick up his paycheck in Anchorage, which was about 150 miles away. He worked at an oil rig there and was home for only a couple of days' break. He did pick up his check, but he but never arrived home. He was reported missing by his employer when he failed to show up for work. On February 26, two days after Hills disappeared, his red 1998 Dodge pickup truck was found out of gas and stuck in the snow in a ditch off of Kenai Keys Road in Sterling, Alaska, fifteen miles from his residence. The car's keys were still in the ignition, there was $292 in the center console, Hills's driver's license was on the front seat. Police found footprints leading away from the car for about half a mile. The right footprint was dragging, as if the walker's leg was injured. The tracks went through the woods and up to the back porch of a house, then to Feuding Lane, an isolated road, where the footprints ended and dogs lost the trail.

    Hills was under-dressed for the cold weather on the day of his disappearance and, exposed to the elements, could have developed hypothermia within 90 minutes and frozen to death within hours. Another possibility is that he fell into the Kenai River and drowned. His mother, however, stated Hills grew up on the Kenai Peninsula and is an accomplished woodsman who would have been able to survive and keep from getting lost.

    Hills left behind three children; the two younger ones were his and his longtime girlfriend's, and the oldest was a child by a prior relationship whom he was raising as his own. His loved ones stated he was close to his children and had asked if two of them could accompany him on his trip to Anchorage the day he disappeared. His mother and his girlfriend stated he was involved with cocaine and other drugs, as well as alcohol, and many of his associates had criminal histories. He had repeatedly tried to leave this lifestyle for the sake of his family, but always returned to it. His family stated that he always kept in touch no matter what he was doing or who he was with, and they fear he could have met with foul play.

    In the spring of 2014, firefighters battling a wildfire twenty miles from Soldotna found the skeletal remains of an adult male. Authorities thought the bones might be Hills's, but DNA testing proved they were not. Little evidence is available as to Hills's fate; his case remains unsolved.

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    Investigating Agency
    If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
    Alaska Bureau of Investigation
    907-269-5058

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    Source Information
    Alaska Department of Public Safety
    The Peninsula Clarion
    The Seattle Times
    NamUs
    The Atlantic

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    Updated 4 times since October 12, 2004.

    Last updated March 19, 2016; middle name and picture added, details of disappearance updated.

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