Gordon Bethel Lopez

Gordon, circa 1986

  • Missing Since 01/03/1986
  • Missing From Portland, Oregon
  • Classification Endangered Missing
  • Sex Male
  • Race White
  • Date of Birth 07/08/1964 (60)
  • Age 21 years old
  • Height and Weight 6'0 - 6'3, 180 - 200 pounds
  • Clothing/Jewelry Description Unknown, but he usually wears casual clothing such as jeans and flannel shirts.
  • Medical Conditions Lopez may have been depressed at the time of his disappearance.
  • Associated Vehicle(s) Maroon and red 1972 Volvo
  • Distinguishing Characteristics Caucasian male. Red hair, hazel eyes. Gordon's hair may appear any color from dark brown to red depending on his exposure to the sunlight. He may have slight acquired deformities to his ears ("cauliflower ears") from his experiences as a wrestler in high school. His nicknames are Gordy and G.B.

Details of Disappearance

Lopez was last seen in Portland, Oregon on January 3, 1986. He was a junior at Reed College at the time of his disappearance; his family lived in the Los Angeles, California area.

Gordon was close to his eighteen-year-old sister Terry and they kept in touch by phone and letters. Terry last heard from her brother at Christmas in 1985, when he called to thank her for the gifts she'd given him. He didn't indicate that anything was amiss during the conversation.

After Christmas, Gordon wrote a letter home addressed to their mother, but their mother was in Japan visiting one of their siblings over the winter 1985/86 holidays, and Terry opened the letter instead. Gordon enclosed his final, uncashed college tuition check and wrote that they would never see him again and he had no regrets.

When Terry went to his apartment in Portland, she discovered he'd cleaned it out and vanished. His car, a maroon and red 1972 Volvo, disappeared with him and was never registered again, and his Social Security number hasn't been active since he went missing.

The Lopez family hired a private investigator, but they were unable to trace Gordon. Although his farewell note didn't mention suicide, Terry believes Gordon was depressed at the time of his disappearance. Their father had died of cancer years before, their mother drank heavily when they were children, and none of the children got along with her.

Gordon has previously worked summer jobs in Texas and Alaska, and his sister believes he could have traveled to Alaska after his disappearance. In the summer of 1985, he had worked as a logger on Heceta Island in the Alexander Archipelago, in southeast part of the state.

Terry describes him as an extremely intelligent man who was talented in mathematics and enjoyed reading, particularly science fiction and the classics. His favorite author was the Swiss/German poet and novelist Hermann Hesse. His case remains unsolved.

Investigating Agency

  • Portland Police Department 503-823-0446

Source Information

Updated 3 times since October 12, 2004. Last updated November 7, 2018; details of disappearance updated.