John Eric Lake

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Top Row and Bottom Left and Center: Lake, circa 1967;
Bottom Right: Age-progression to age 73 (circa 2003)


Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance

  • Missing Since: December 10, 1967 from Manhattan, New York
  • Classification: Endangered Missing
  • Date Of Birth: February 18, 1930
  • Age: 37 years old
  • Height and Weight: 6'0, 180 pounds
  • Distinguishing Characteristics: Caucasian male. Black hair, brown eyes. Lake has a small scar on his chin. At the time of his December 1967 disappearance, he wore black-framed eyeglasses.
  • Clothing/Jewelry Description: Possibly a navy blue blazer with striped lining.
  • Medical Conditions: Lake may have been depressed at the time of his disappearance. He was reportedly intoxicated when he was last seen.
  • Bar

    Details of Disappearance

    Lake was last seen late in the evening in Midtown in the New York City borough of Manhattan on December 10, 1967. He had dinner and several drinks with a female acquaintance that day, then they took a cab at her apartment on east 54th Street afterwards. Lake wanted to come up to her apartment, but she refused to let him because she to work the next day. She suggested he take the waiting cab to his studio apartment in Greenwich Village, but Lake said he would take a subway instead. He was last seen walking to the subway station. Lake has never been heard from again. He was not reported missing until four days had passed.

    At the time of his disappearance, Lake was employed as the sports editor for Newsweek Magazine. Many of his coworkers believed he left of his own accord. Lake was reportedly dissatisfied with his job, had problems with drinking, and was struggling financially due to a divorce settlement. He had separated from his wife, with whom he had two children. His coworkers believe he was depressed at the time of his disappearance but not suicidal. His disappearance was investigated by the Pinkerton Detective Agency in addition to the New York City Police Department.

    Lake graduated from Syracuse University; he belonged to Phi Beta Kappa, an honors society, there. He enjoys smoking cigars and he is very interested in literature, theater, folk and country music, and sports. Lake was unimpressed with material wealth in 1967; if he is alive today he may be living a simple lifestyle. He was declared legally dead seven years after his disappearance, but his case remains unsolved. His son continues to search for him.


    Investigating Agency
    If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
    New York Police Department


    Source Information
    The Doe Network
    Missing Persons with the New York Police Department
    New York Missing Persons
    The New York Times
    John Lake Website


    Updated 3 times since October 12, 2004.

    Last updated September 30, 2006; two pictures added.

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