Dakota J. Menger

Dakota, circa 1999; Age-progression to age 21 (circa 2018)

  • Missing Since 08/20/1999
  • Missing From Nekoosa, Wisconsin
  • Classification Endangered Missing
  • Sex Male
  • Race White
  • Date of Birth 08/08/1997 (26)
  • Age 2 years old
  • Height and Weight 3'0, 35 pounds
  • Distinguishing Characteristics Caucasian male. Brown hair, hazel eyes.

Details of Disappearance

Dakota disappeared with his mother, Dayna Menger, and her friend, Junelle Marquard. They were last seen in Nekoosa, Wisconsin on August 20, 1999, when they dropped Dayna's four-year-old daughter off at the babysitter's home. The women left with Dakota, without saying where they were going or what they planned to do.

When Dayna didn't return to pick up her daughter as scheduled, the babysitter wasn't initially concerned; it wasn't uncommon for Dayna to leave the child at the babysitter's house for days at a time. But after weeks passed without any contact with either of the women, the babysitter contacted social services, which took custody of the girl.

At the time of their disappearances, Dayna lived with her daughter and Dakota in Nekoosa, and Marquard lived in Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin. Both women were involved with drugs, and had become estranged from their families as a result. Dayna eventually lost her parental rights to her daughter and the girl was adopted and now lives out of state.

It wasn't until 2004 that the police were officially informed of the three disappearances; Dayna's brother reported her missing at that time. Marquard has never been officially reported missing; police are only looking for her because of Dayna and Dakota's disappearances.

Dayna may have ties to Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She and Marquard have minor criminal histories, but investigators don't believe they're running from the law, and foul play is a possibility in their disappearances. In spite of the problems in her life, Dayna's loved ones don't believe she would have abandoned her daughter.

The three cases remain unsolved.

Investigating Agency

  • Nekoosa Police Department 715-421-8701

Updated 3 times since October 12, 2004. Last updated August 26, 2019; details of disappearance updated.