James Ronald Peters

Peters, circa 1988

  • Missing Since 09/03/1988
  • Missing From El Cajon, California
  • Classification Endangered Missing
  • Sex Male
  • Race White
  • Date of Birth 04/20/1969 (55)
  • Age 19 years old
  • Height and Weight 5'10, 140 pounds
  • Associated Vehicle(s) Green 1970 Volkswagen Beetle (accounted for)
  • Distinguishing Characteristics Caucasian male. Blond hair, hazel eyes. Peters may use the last name Peter. His nickname is Jamie.

Details of Disappearance

Peters was last seen at his home in El Cajon, California on September 3, 1988. Shortly before his disappearance, he moved out of his parents' residence in La Mesa, California and into an apartment in the 1000 block of Peach Avenue, which he shared with a roommate, Salvador Richard Ruiz. He frequently visited his previous home, however.

Peters's mother last saw him ten days after he moved out, when he returned to her home to drop off his house keys. He did not stay to talk, and asked her not to visit him the following Monday because he would be busy.

Ruiz stated that Peters suddenly became upset, packed a duffle bag and and walked out of their apartment, leaving all of his other belongings behind, and never returned. After Peters did not return his mother's phone calls or try to contact her, she asked the police to check on him. He has never been heard from again.

In December 1988, two months after Peters's disappearance, his green 1970 Volkswagen Beetle was found abandoned and stripped of parts on Mussey Grade Road in a remote area of Ramona, California. There was a swastika, about a foot tall, carved into the roof of the vehicle.

There are rumors that Peters's disappearance may be tied to occult activity, specifically the Children of the Rainbow group. The swastika is not a symbol associated with Children of the Rainbow. It is unclear whether Peters was involved with the occult at the time of his disappearance.

In October 1988, Ruiz was charged with drug possession and attempted murder. He allegedly beat another roommate with a baseball bat and badly injured him. Authorities stated Ruiz was not considered a suspect in Peters's disappearance, however, and that the October incident was completely unconnected.

Peters graduated from Helix High School in 1987. His loved ones stated he had low self-esteem, was involved with drugs and had trouble finding a job at the time of his disappearance. He had spoken of wanting to enroll as a student at Grossmont College and get his life in order.

Peters's hobbies in 1988 included body surfing, skateboarding and BB gun shooting. Foul play is suspected in his case, which remains unsolved.

Investigating Agency

  • Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department 562-465-7816

Updated 4 times since October 12, 2004. Last updated August 2, 2011; picture added.