Edward Leroy Nichols

Nichols, circa 1974

  • Missing Since 12/03/1974
  • Missing From Gallatin County, Kentucky
  • Classification Endangered Missing
  • Sex Male
  • Race White
  • Age 22 years old
  • Height and Weight 6'0, 160 pounds
  • Clothing/Jewelry Description An Army fatigue jacket, blue jeans and white socks.
  • Distinguishing Characteristics Caucasian male. Brown hair, brown eyes. Nichols's nicknames are Ed and Eddie. He had a beard at the time of his disappearance.

Details of Disappearance

Nichols was last seen on December 3, 1974. At 9:00 a.m., he left his parents' home in Florence, Kentucky to go deer hunting with a friend, David Stites. They stopped at a store so Nichols could buy some hunting socks, then went to Shady Nook Bottoms, off Southfork Road, about ten miles west of Union, Kentucky.

According to Stites, when he and Nichols arrived at the place where they planned to hunt and got out of the car, they went off in different directions. They were supposed to meet again at the car at 3:00 p.m. Stites said he last saw him in the woods near the Gallatin County, Kentucky line. When he went back to the car at the agreed-upon time, Nichols wasn't there. Stites waited for him for four hours before calling police.

Stites was subsequently fined $114 for hunting deer out of season, and Nichols would have faced up to a $500 fine for the same offense had he reappeared. Nichols was on probation for a drug charge at the time of his disappearance. The probation was supposed to end in January, but a warrant was issued for his arrest when he missed a meeting with his probation officer after he was last seen.

The police initially thought he might not want to be found, but it's very rare for a person to go missing voluntarily and remain completely out of touch for decades. Authorities no longer believe Nichols left of his own accord or suffered an accident while hunting; they think he was probably the victim of a homicide.

He worked as a house painter at the time of his disappearance, and lived on Ann Street in Union. His case remains unsolved.

Updated 2 times since October 12, 2004. Last updated September 29, 2021; picture added, details of disappearance updated.