Franklin Thomas Gottschalk

Gottschalk, circa 1997

  • Missing Since 02/02/1997
  • Missing From Mason, Michigan
  • Classification Endangered Missing
  • Sex Male
  • Race White
  • Date of Birth 02/03/1972 (52)
  • Age 24 years old
  • Height and Weight 5'4, 150 pounds
  • Clothing/Jewelry Description Possibly a black leather jacket and a watch with a brown leather band.
  • Medical Conditions Gottschalk was reportedly depressed at the time of his disappearance.
  • Associated Vehicle(s) Black and red 1977 Oldsmobile Toronado Trofeo with the Michigan license plate number MXT164
  • Distinguishing Characteristics Caucasian male. Brown hair, brown eyes. Gottschalk has a scar on his left shoulder from a motorcycle accident, and a scar on his solar plexus area.

Details of Disappearance

Gottschalk was last seen at his Mason, Michigan residence on February 2, 1997, the day before his 25th birthday. He had been an English major at Michigan State University and was within three credits of graduating, but he did not register for classes for the spring semester of 1997. On the day of his disappearance, he drove off in his brother's car without permission, and has never been heard from again.

Gottschalk's brother's vehicle, a black and red 1977 Oldsmobile Toronado Trofeo with the Michigan license plate number MXT164, was found in a parking lot at the corner of Grand River Avenue and Cedar Street in Lansing, Michigan.

There was no sign of Gottschalk at the scene, but bicyclists found two bags belonging to him on the Shiawassee Street bridge. Divers searched the water beneath the bridge but found no clues relating to his case.

There was nothing missing from the bags except Gottschalk's black leather jacket, his Detroit Lions coat, his wallet, and a watch with a brown leather band. The Detroit Lions coat was later found in a local cornfield.

Foul play is suspected in Gottschalk's case; his family says it is uncharacteristic of him to leave without warning and they think he would have contacted them if he could have. He is a gifted public speaker who at the time of his disappearance aspired to become a teacher. His case remains unsolved.

Investigating Agency

  • Ingham County Sheriff Department 517-676-2431

Updated 2 times since October 12, 2004. Last updated February 8, 2019; picture added.