Hans Martin Lippuner

Lippuner, circa 2018; Lippuner's Ford Econoline van

  • Missing Since 10/16/2018
  • Missing From McKinleyville, California
  • Classification Endangered Missing
  • Sex Male
  • Race White
  • Date of Birth 07/17/1959 (64)
  • Age 59 years old
  • Height and Weight 5'8 - 5'10, 130 - 150 pounds
  • Clothing/Jewelry Description A soft cord necklace with a two- to three-inch glass dragonfly pendant, and rugged, patched outdoor clothing, possibly a flannel shirt and jeans.
  • Medical Conditions Lippuner was showing signs of depression when he disappeared, and had lost weight. He has chronic pain in his right hip and limps as a result.
  • Associated Vehicle(s) White 1998 Ford Econoline E100 4x4 cargo van with a pop-up top, no side windows and the California license plate number 4ANN813 (accounted for)
  • Distinguishing Characteristics Caucasian male. Gray hair, blue eyes. Lippuner had a full gray and brown beard at the time of his disappearance, and he wears eyeglasses. He speaks both English and Swiss German. He smokes cigarettes and is missing some of his teeth in the front part of his upper jaw. He walks with a limp due to pain in his right hip.

Details of Disappearance

Lippuner was last seen by his housemates in the Dows Prairie area of McKinleyville, California on October 16, 2018. He lived with his best friend and his best friend's wife in McKinleyville; he had a small apartment and a shop, and traveled back and forth between McKinleyville and Santa Cruz, California.

Although Lippuner left behind his work gear and his climbing and backpacking equipment, he disappeared with his white 1998 Ford Econoline E100 4x4 cargo van; photos of it is posted with this case summary. The van has a pop-up top, no side windows and the California license plate number 4ANN813. It's big enough to seat fifteen people, but has no seats other than the driver's seat.

His cellular phone pinged twice on October 17, the day after he was last seen: once in McKinleyville, and an hour later in Blue Lake, California. After that, all activity and signals for the phone stopped. He has never been heard from again. His family reported him missing on November 1, after becoming aware that no one had seen or heard from him in weeks.

Lippuner's van was found by a hunter in December 2018, two months after his disappearance; it was locked and abandoned in a remote, rugged area near the end of Old French Creek Road off Highway 299 outside Del Loma, California. A search of the area turned up no sign of Lippuner.

He enjoyed tree and rock climbing and had been climbing for his entire adult life, as well as fishing, camping, and backpacking. He did work as a mechanic and machinist to earn money.  In the weeks prior to his disappearance, Lippuner had shown signs of depression: he was eating less and losing weight as a result, and he seemed less interested in his work projects.

He had told people that when he was ready to die he wanted to "disappear and melt into the earth". However, his family doesn't necessarily believe he took his own life and they fear foul play could have been involved in his case. His disappearance remains unsolved.

Investigating Agency

  • Humboldt County Sheriff's Office 707-445-7439

Updated 1 time since October 12, 2004. Last updated December 2, 2019; casefile added.