Joseph Hurtado

1 2 AP
Left and Center: Joseph, circa 1974;
Right: Age-progression to age 40 (circa 2013)


Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance

  • Missing Since: September 9, 1974 from El Paso, Texas
  • Classification: Non-Family Abduction
  • Date Of Birth: January 5, 1973
  • Age: 1 year old
  • Height and Weight: 2'6, 22 pounds
  • Distinguishing Characteristics: Hispanic male. Light brown hair, brown eyes. Joseph has a brown birthmark on his back, near his right kidney.
  • Clothing/Jewelry Description: A red jumper, blue socks and brown high-top orthopedic shoes.
  • Medical Conditions: Joseph was born with club feet. He was wearing the above-mentioned orthopedic shoes at the time he vanished to help correct the problem. If left untreated, club feet can lead to severe intoeing (pigeon-toes) later in life.
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    Details of Disappearance

    Joseph was last seen walking to his grandmother's house in the 800 block of Elmwood Court in El Paso, Texas, on September 9, 1974. Joseph's mother was washing the family's car in their driveway at the time, and his father was indoors. Joseph kept going from one parent to the other. When he disappeared, at first both his parents thought he was with the other. He has never been seen again. All of his neighbors and his parents, who are now divorced, were ruled out as suspects in his case, and a search of the Rio Grande, which flows behind his house, turned up no clues.

    A neighbor reported seeing an unidentified blue Ford on the street, which dead-ends, at the time Joseph was last seen. The vehicle disappeared at the same time Joseph did, but it hasn't been proven that the car is connected to his presumed abduction.

    Authorities believe Joseph is dead and they have a suspect, whom they have not publicly named, in his kidnapping and presumed murder. They presented their case to a grand jury, but the jury didn't issue any indictments. Police stated the passage of time since Joseph's disappearance has greatly hindered the investigation. The case remains active but unsolved.


    Investigating Agency
    If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
    El Paso County Sheriff's Office


    Source Information
    The National Center For Missing and Exploited Children
    Texas Department of Public Safety
    The El Paso Times
    The El Paso Herald-Post


    Updated 6 times since October 12, 2004.

    Last updated April 21, 2016; clothing/jewelry description and details of disappearance updated.

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