James Albert Boyd

Boyd, circa 1987; Steven White, circa 2016

  • Missing Since 02/06/1987
  • Missing From St. Petersburg, Florida
  • Classification Endangered Missing
  • Sex Male
  • Race White
  • Date of Birth 02/02/1939 (85)
  • Age 48 years old
  • Height and Weight 5'8, 150 pounds
  • Associated Vehicle(s) Black and silver Chevrolet El Camino (accounted for)
  • Distinguishing Characteristics Caucasian male. Brown hair, blue eyes. Boyd has a tattoo on his left arm. His nickname is Jim.

Details of Disappearance

Boyd was last seen at a bank in St. Petersburg, Florida on February 6, 1987. He purchased $1,500 in traveler's checks for an upcoming trip to South Africa. He has never been heard from again and authorities confirmed he never arrived in South Africa. His black and silver Chevrolet El Camino disappeared with him.

A few days after Boyd disappeared, bank officials in Tampa, Florida notified police that someone posing as Boyd was trying to refinance his truck and had taken $35,000 out of his accounts using false identification with Boyd's name and his own photograph. Police went to Boyd's home in the 1800 block of Nebraska Avenue northeast in St. Petersburg.

The house was built like a fortress, with an elaborate security system and no windows. The front door was unlocked and there were bloodstains in several rooms, as well as bullet holes and spent .25 caliber cartridges in a wall and a mattress. Valuable items in the home, including firearms, jewelry, bottles of rare wine and objets d'art, were missing. There was no indication of Boyd's whereabouts.

Boyd worked as a dealer in rare objects, traveling around the world to find things to sell. He dealt in gold, silver, ivory, rare coins and wines, objects d'art, firearms, Nazi memorabilia and other items. He was a reclusive loner and lived frugally. Over two decades before his disappearance, he was convicted of second-degree murder after he shot his first wife's lover.

Authorities determined Steven Wayne White had tampered with Boyd's bank accounts and was driving his car. A photo of him is posted with this case summary. He has a long criminal history. He met Boyd by posing as a prospective buyer for Boyd's house, and the men became friends and then lovers. Investigators believe had been planning Boyd's murder for months, ever since he met Boyd's former girlfriend, Janina Koziej Meylheux, a naturalized French citizen.

When they were arrested in June 1987, White and Melyheux had a .25 caliber handgun, $10,000 in cash, Boyd's El Camino and several hundred thousand dollars' worth of his belongings. White's fingerprints were found in Boyd's bathroom as well. He was charged with murder; Meylheux only faced theft charges. At White's murder trial, his defense suggested Boyd, a bisexual transvestite, staged his own murder so he could get a sex change and start a new life as a woman.

Meylheux pleaded guilty to grand theft and returned to France. White was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison, although prosecutors had sought the death penalty. In June 2015, he was charged with the murder of Cedric Horn, a retired dentist who disappeared from California in 1987. He pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in that case in October 2017.

Horn's body, like Boyd's, has never been found. Foul play is suspected in both disappearances due to the circumstances involved.

Investigating Agency

  • St Petersburg Police Department 727-892-5000

Updated 6 times since October 12, 2004. Last updated March 27, 2018; details of disappearance updated.