Edward Lee Vannatter Jr.

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Above Images: Vannatter, circa 2003

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Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance

  • Missing Since: October 2003 from Eastlake, Ohio
  • Classification: Endangered Missing
  • Date of Birth: July 4, 1971
  • Age: 32 years old
  • Height and Weight: 5'5, 160 pounds
  • Distinguishing Characteristics: Caucasian male. Brown hair, brown eyes. Vannatter's nickname is Eddie.
  • Clothing/Jewelry Description: Possibly blue jeans, a t-shirt and a gray pullover sweatshirt.
  • Medical Conditions: Vannatter is addicted to methamphetamine.
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    Details of Disappearance

    Vannatter was last seen in early October 2003. He was living with a roommate, John Caputo, in a rental home on east 345th Street in Eastlake, Ohio. A photograph of him s posted below this case summary. Caputo said Vannatter came home with a man named Mark, whom Caputo hadn't met before, and the two men had drugs and drug paraphernalia. Mark's last name is unknown. Caputo was on probation and didn't want drugs in the house. There was a minor physical altercation between the three men, and Vannatter and Mark left the residence. Vannatter has never been heard from again.

    Vannatter's family was unconcerned by his absence at first. He had dropped out of sight before for as long as a month at at time due to his drug addiction, and his relatives believed he was probably staying with friends temporarily. When Thanksgiving came and went without his loved ones hearing from him, his mother and stepfather reported him missing. His mother stated it would be uncharacteristic of him to run off with someone he'd just met.

    After Vannatter's disappearance, Caputo quickly disposed of all his belongings; he later said he'd done it because he was angry at Vannatter. Police believe Caputo may know more about Vannatter's disappearance than he's disclosed, but no suspects have been named in the case. In 2012, Caputo called Vannatter's mother and left a message on her machine saying he was going to commit suicide and wanted her to know he had had nothing to do with her son's disappearance. Caputo did not, in fact, take his life; instead, a week later, he turned himself into the police to face charges that he had robbed four banks in Lake County, Ohio.

    Vannatter's family describes him as a good-hearted man who loved animals and children. Foul play is suspected in his disappearance; it remains unsolved.

    Caputo
    Above: John Caputo in 2012

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    Investigating Agency
    If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
    Lake County Sheriff's Office
    440-350-5521

    OR
    440-350-5533

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    Source Information
    The News-Herald
    ONN TV
    Ohio Attorney General's Office

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    Updated 4 times since October 12, 2004.

    Last updated May 26, 2012; three pictures and clothing/jewelry description added, details of disappearance updated.

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