James Woodford Johnson

Above: Johnson, circa 1985


Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance

  • Missing Since: August 26, 1985 from Fort Pierce, Florida
  • Classification: Endangered Missing
  • Age: 61 years old
  • Height and Weight: 6'0, 190 pounds
  • Distinguishing Characteristics: Caucasian male. Blond hair, blue eyes. Johnson's nickname is Buddy. The tip of his right middle finger is missing.
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    Details of Disappearance

    Johnson and a friend, Patrick DiFrancesco, disappeared from Fort Pierce, Florida on August 26, 1985. DiFrancesco had a student pilot's license and reportedly left in a plane with Johnson, a pilot, for an overnight trip. They were supposedly going to pick up a shipment of marijuana in the Bahamas or at St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands. Neither man has ever been heard from again and no wreckage from their plane was ever discovered. There was a rumor that DiFrancesco had been found in jail in Jamaica after his disappearance, but this was never verified.

    The plane DiFrancesco and Johnson supposedly flew away in was owned by Jay Crouch. He was convicted of cocaine trafficking charges in 1988. DiFrancesco's brother believes he may have never left Fort Pierce and that he and Johnson may have been murdered and buried in the local area. Both men's cases remain unsolved.


    Investigating Agency
    If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
    St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office


    Source Information
    The CUE Center for Missing Persons
    The South Florida Sun-Sentinel
    The Fort Pierce Tribune


    Updated 1 time since October 12, 2004.

    Last updated May 17, 2012; casefile added.

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