James B. Zapolski

James, circa 1966

  • Missing Since 07/23/1966
  • Missing From Princeton, New Jersey
  • Classification Endangered Missing
  • Sex Male
  • Race White
  • Age 15 years old
  • Height and Weight 6'0, 140 - 150 pounds
  • Clothing/Jewelry Description A white sport shirt with blue stripes, white cut-off jean shorts, and sneakers.
  • Associated Vehicle(s) Gold and white bicycle (accounted for)
  • Distinguishing Characteristics Caucasian male. Brown hair, blue/green eyes. James's nickname is Jamie.

Details of Disappearance

James was last seen in Princeton, New Jersey on July 23, 1966. He lived in the 10 block of Washington Street at the time of his disappearance, and was going to enter his sophomore year at Princeton High School. He left home on his bicycle that day and has never been heard from again.

The day after his disappearance, his bicycle was found in the Delaware-Raritan Canal in Griggstown, New Jersey, five miles from James's home. It wasn't immediately identified, however, in part because the distinctive Tour de France decal James had put on it had been removed. The boy who found the bike kept it until September, when he read about James's disappearance in the newspaper and notified police.

James had cherished his bicycle, a gold and white French-made model which he bought just eight days earlier with money he earned doing odd jobs. He is described as an independent, self-reliant teenager who was a good student and dreamed of a career in the law. He wanted to ride his bike all the way to Florida and had embarked on a rigorous daily regimen of exercise, twenty miles of riding a day, to get in shape for his anticipated trip.

When James went missing, his family initially thought he had taken off to ride to Florida. But once they learned about his bicycle being found, they concluded he had met with foul play. His disappearance remains unsolved; there has been no indication of his whereabouts since 1966.

Investigating Agency

  • New Jersey State Police 609-584-5000

Updated 2 times since October 12, 2004. Last updated September 12, 2022; picture added.