David Earl Whitehurst

Above: Whitehurst, circa 1992


Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance

  • Missing Since: April 17, 1992 from Tampa, Florida
  • Classification: Endangered Missing
  • Date of Birth: June 22, 1951
  • Age: 40 years old
  • Height and Weight: 5'8, 170 pounds
  • Distinguishing Characteristics: Caucasian male. Brown hair, brown/hazel eyes. Whitehurst has a scar on his left eyebrow.
  • Medical Conditions: Whitehurst is an alcoholic.
  • Bar

    Details of Disappearance

    Whitehurst was last seen in Tampa, Florida on the evening of April 17, 1992. He flew out of Vandenberg Airport in a leased plane and has never been heard from again. He left his silver Dodge Stealth at the airport, with his keys and wallet inside it. Weather conditions in the area were rough at the time of Whitehurst's disappearance, and he was not an experienced pilot, having gotten his license only the month before. His father believes he ran into bad weather and crashed into a remote wooded area. The Civil Air Patrol didn't begin to look for him until April 21, and Whitehurst hadn't filed a flight plan, making search efforts difficult.

    There is speculation that Whitehurst either left of his own accord or met with foul play. He owned a debt-collecting business, Continental Recovery Systems, and was having problems with it at the time of his disappearance: he had decided to cancel a pending merger with another company, and he had filed a lawsuit against two former employees. He was well-known locally and due to the nature of his business, he had many enemies and had been threatened before. Whitehurst's lawyer said that in the weeks before his disappearance, someone had been following him.

    Whitehurst was divorced with one teenage son at the time he went missing. Searchers never found any sign of him or his plane, which was a single-engine Piper PA 28-181. The plane is colored beige with brown, orange and white stripes, and the registration number is N4319N. Whitehurst's case remains unsolved and the circumstances of his disappearance are unclear.


    Investigating Agency
    If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
    Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office


    Source Information
    Florida Department of Law Enforcement
    The St. Petersburg Times


    Updated 1 time since October 12, 2004.

    Last updated September 20, 2011; casefile added.

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