James Willard McNeely

Above: McNeely, circa 1972


Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance

  • Missing Since: April 8, 1972 from Frankfort, Kentucky
  • Classification: Lost/Injured Missing
  • Age: 37 years old
  • Height and Weight: 6'2, 200 pounds
  • Distinguishing Characteristics: Caucasian male. Black hair, blue eyes.
  • Bar

    Details of Disappearance

    McNeely, a Kentucky State Trooper, was last seen while on a flood rescue mission on the Kentucky River in Frankfort, Kentucky on April 8, 1972. His boat was swept over the dam at Lock 4. Another state trooper, 39-year-old David Thomas Childs, was in the boat. His body was later found in the Ohio River near Tell City, Indiana; he had drowned. McNeely's body has never been recovered, but he is presumed to have drowned also. A photo of Childs is posted below this case summary.

    In May 2014, the Kentucky State Police held a memorial service for McNeely and named a five-mile stretch of KY 339 "James W. McNeely Memorial Highway", in his honor. He disappeared one day after the sixteenth anniversary of the day of his joining the state police, leaving behind a wife and three children.

    Above: David Childs


    Investigating Agency
    If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
    Kentucky State Police
    Post 12


    Source Information
    WPSD 6
    Kentucky State Police


    Updated 2 times since October 12, 2004.

    Last updated January 7, 2016; details of disappearance updated.

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