Details of Disappearance
Eugene was last seen at his home in rural Canon City, Colorado on June 21, 2004. Lynn Fish, his wife, stated he left their home angrily after an argument. A photo of Lynn is posted with this case summary. She called Eugene's father a week later and told him Eugene had left; she stated she believed he left of his own volition.
Lynn said Eugene had wanted to be free of responsibilities and he had smashed his computer and cut up his credit cards before departing the house, leaving his cellular phone behind. She believed he was planning to go to Mexico or South America to "disappear."
Lynn stated that when Eugene left, he was driving his red 2000 Ford F-150 pickup truck. Eugene allegedly said he would send the truck back to her later. She stated the truck reappeared in the Fish family's driveway days later, three miles inside the locked gate to the property.
Lynn called the sheriff's office about Eugene's disappearance in August 2004, but when she recounted the story of his disappearance to a detective, he told her Eugene could not be considered a missing person because he had left of his own accord. A friend finally reported him missing on September 1.
Eugene served in the Air Force and then worked with the Naval Criminal Investigative Service and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission before he retired with a pension of over $4,000 a month. He has not attempted to access it since his disappearance and Lynn is now collecting it in his stead. By August 2004, she had switched all their joint bank accounts to be in her name only.
Eugene has also not used his credit cards, passport and bank accounts since his disappearance. He was born and raised New York, where most of his family still lives, and graduated from Siena College in Loudonville, New York. He had lived with several women during his life and has at least one, and possibly two, illegitimate children.
Prior to his disappearance, Eugene had made statements to the effect that he was disillusioned by his retirement and his marriage. He and Lynn married in 1997, and the couple lived in various places around the country for Eugene's job. When they moved to Colorado upon Eugene's retirement, they purchased a remote 35-acre property and hired workers to construct a modular home.
In late 2003, Lynn told one of the workers that Eugene had beaten her. She didn't report the incident to the police, but in January 2004 she called the sheriff's office to report a shoving incident between herself and her husband. She declined to file a formal complaint and, when investigators spoke to Eugene, he said their problems had been taken care of. No arrests were made in the incident. After his disappearance, Lynn told Eugene's father that he had beaten and shoved her.
Lynn apparently made several inconsistent statements about Eugene and his disappearance: she allegedly contradicted herself as to whether or not her husband had physically abused her, whether his truck had ever had a CB radio and what happened to it, whether the truck had any keys when she found it in her driveway, and how much money Eugene took when he left; the amounts she gave varied from $8,500 to $20,000. She initially agreed to take a polygraph, but then changed her mind.
Eugene's parents, Bill and Agnes Fish, hired a private investigator and spent an estimated $100,000 in the search for him. In 2007, Bill and Agnes filed a wrongful death suit against Lynn and a neighbor, Johnnie Ray Florez. They alleged that Lynn had killed her husband and Florez helped her bury the body.
The suit was dismissed in May 2007, after Bill died at the age of ninety. In his will he left provisions for the foundation of a trust fund to finance the search for Eugene. Agnes died in October 2009. Eugene is the sole heir to their estate, worth an estimated $500,000.
Although his family believes he met with foul play, police are investigating Eugene's case as a missing person rather than a crime. His disappearance remains unsolved.