Thomas James Mixon

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Above: Mixon, circa 1998

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Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance

  • Missing Since: May 4, 1998 from Buffalo, New York
  • Classification: Endangered Missing
  • Date of Birth: April 7, 1972
  • Age: 26 years old
  • Height and Weight: 5'8, 140 pounds
  • Distinguishing Characteristics: Caucasian male. Light brown hair, blue eyes. Mixon's nicknames are Tom and TJ. He has a two- to three-inch tattoo of a tiger's head on the left side of his chest and a six-inch scar on the left side of his chest. His lower teeth are crooked and some of his teeth are missing. Mixon's left ear is pierced.
  • Clothing/Jewelry Description: A gold Georgetown University class ring and possibly size size 34x36 blue jeans, a pullover shirt, and size 9 Nike sneakers.
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    Details of Disappearance

    Mixon was last seen in the evening hours of May 4, 1998 at his residence in the vicinity of Bryson Street and Memorial Drive in Buffalo, New York. He had left a message on his mother's answering machine asking her to page him, and when she tried to do so, the message on his pager said he had gone turkey hunting and people should contact his roommate, Vladimir L. Sokolov. When Mixon's mother spoke to Sokolov, Sokolov said he would tell her what happened in a couple of weeks and that he was nervous and planned to leave the country. Mixon has never been heard from again. His mother reported him missing on May 11. He left behind a young son.

    Mixon had deeded his apartment to Sokolov in order to keep his ex-wife from getting it. The day after Mixon's disappearance, Sokolov put all of his roommate's belongings on the street. He also started wearing Mixon's clothes. Mixon's mother said her son was involved in drug trafficking and she believed he and Sokolov had been involved in a drug deal that went wrong.

    Sokolov returned to his native Bulgaria in 1999, after learning he was a suspect in Mixon's disappearance. He had allegedly bragged about killing Mixon, and his own ex-girlfriend claims to have seen Mixon's dismembered body inside the apartment. Mixon and Sokolov's apartment was searched two weeks after Mixon disappeared and police could find no evidence of a crime scene there, but it had been cleaned and painted. In 2000, Sokolov was charged with second-degree murder in Mixon's case and extradited to the United States. This is believed to have been the first time since the end of the Cold War that Bulgaria allowed one of their citizens to be extradited to the West.

    The murder trial was held in 2002. Prosecutors argued that Sokolov killed Mixon in anger and then dismembered or burned the body, which was never found. Defense witnesses at the trial implied Mixon was alive and had left of his own accord. One witness said Mixon told him he was wanted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and owed money to Jamaican drug suppliers, and planned to flee as a result. The witness said Mixon showed him $10,000 worth of survival gear and food he had accumulated for this purpose.

    Sokolov was acquitted of Mixon's murder in March 2002. Mixon's disappearance remains unsolved. Foul play is suspected due to the circumstances involved.

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    Investigating Agency
    If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
    Buffalo Police Department
    716-851-4495

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    Source Information
    The National Center for Missing Adults
    The Watertown Daily Times
    The Buffalo News

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    Updated 2 times since October 12, 2004.

    Last updated June 1, 2008; distinguishing characteristics and details of disappearance updated.

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