James Mark Shumaker

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Above: Shumaker, circa 1995

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Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance

  • Missing Since: October 20, 1995 from Tampa, Florida
  • Classification: Endangered Missing
  • Date Of Birth: December 25, 1964
  • Age: 30 years old
  • Height and Weight: 5'9 - 5'11, 150 - 160 pounds
  • Distinguishing Characteristics: Caucasian male. Blond hair, hazel eyes. Shumaker may go by his middle name, Mark, or use the name Marcus.
  • Clothing/Jewelry Description: A green, purple and black vest, green surgical pants, black Reebok sneakers and a silver neck chain.
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    Details of Disappearance

    Shumaker was last seen at the Parthenon Cafe (now called The Garage), a bar in the 800 block of Whiting Street in downtown Tampa, Florida, on October 20, 1995. He has never been heard from again. He was reported missing a few days later. He'd been dropped off at the bar, and left his vehicle behind at home.

    There is some speculation that Shumaker's disappearance is connected to the murder of Michael Wayne Wachholtz and the disappearances of Jason Galehouse, Bradley Williams, and Mark Thompson. A photograph of Wachholtz is posted below this case summary. All of the men are gay, all are within the same age group, and they all disappeared from the same area. Thompson disappeared in 2001 from Clearwater, Florida, and his truck was later found abandoned in Tampa. Williams disappeared from Tampa in 2001. Galehouse and Wachholtz disappeared from Tampa on the same day in 2003. Wachholtz's body was found in mid-January 2004, wrapped in a sheet and stuffed in the back of his 1992 Jeep Cherokee SUV, which was in the parking lot of a Town 'N Country restaurant in Tampa. The other men remain missing.

    In May 2004, an affadavit was filed in the United States District Court of Tampa which accused Lorenzo of drugging Galehouse and Wachholtz, sexually abusing them, and causing their deaths. Scott Paul Schweikert was named as an accessory after the fact. Neither of them have been formally charged in Wachholtz's death and Galehouse's disappearance, however. Investigators alleged that Lorenzo and Schweikert gave the men gamma hydroxy butyrate (GHB), a "date rape" drug which causes people to become extremely drowsy and suggestible and, in higher doses, may put a person in a coma. They believe the two suspects lured men to Lorenzo's home, drugged them with GHB and tortured them. Lorenzo was convicted of ten GHB-related charges in 2006 and was sentenced to 200 years in federal prison. A photograph of him is posted below this case summary. Schweikert was sentenced to 40 years in prison for his role in the crimes.

    In spite of much speculation in the press and among the victims' families, police say that beyond the similarities in the missing men's lifestyles there is nothing to suggest that the cases are related. All of the cases remain unsolved.

    Wachholtz Lorenzo
    Left: Michael Wachholtz;
    Right: Steven Lorenzo

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    Investigating Agency
    If you have any information concerning this case, please contact
    Tampa Police Department
    813-276-3503

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    Source Information
    Find Jason Now
    Florida Department of Law Enforcement
    The Herald Tribune
    The South Florida Sun-Sentinel
    Tampa Bay News
    The St. Petersburg Times
    Express Gay News
    The Tampa Tribune
    NamUs

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    Updated 5 times since October 12, 2004.

    Last updated December 13, 2010; details of disappearance updated.

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