Charles Ellsworth Duke

Duke, circa 2003

  • Missing Since 08/16/2003
  • Missing From La Junta, Colorado
  • Classification Endangered Missing
  • Sex Male
  • Race White
  • Date of Birth 08/10/1946 (77)
  • Age 57 years old
  • Height and Weight 5'11, 155 pounds
  • Associated Vehicle(s) Blue and gray minivan (accounted for)
  • Distinguishing Characteristics Caucasian male. Brown hair, hazel eyes. Duke's nickname is Chuck. He has a scar on his right elbow.

Details of Disappearance

Duke was last seen in La Junta, Colorado on August 16, 2003. He and a companion, Pam Eddings, were traveling in Duke's niece's blue and gray minivan in the Vogel Canyon area south of La Junta. According to Eddings, the van became high-centered and they decided to abandon it and walk back to town.

Eddings said she was unable to make the trip and Duke left her and went for help at approximately 12:00 p.m. He never arrived home and has never been heard from again. A rancher eventually found Eddings and took her back to La Junta. The van was found on August 18, in a pasture about 44 miles south of La Junta.

In late September 2003, six weeks after Duke's disappearance, the Ordway, Colorado residence owned by him and occupied by his niece and her family caught fire after an explosion. A man and three young children were severely burned in the fire, but all the victims recovered from their injuries. Authorities determined the fire was arson, but they haven't connected it to Duke's disappearance.

Duke is an avid fisherman. He was born in Piqua, Ohio and later lived in Kentucky. He is a U.S. Army veteran and was wounded in the Vietnam War. His case remains unsolved and his family believes he was murdered.

Updated 2 times since October 12, 2004. Last updated April 19, 2016; height and weight added, distinguishing characteristics and details of disappearance updated.