Jesse Lee Farber

Farber, circa 2015

  • Missing Since 08/11/2015
  • Missing From Tamaqua, Pennsylvania
  • Classification Endangered Missing
  • Sex Male
  • Race White
  • Age 29 years old
  • Height and Weight 5'5 - 5'7, 130 pounds
  • Clothing/Jewelry Description A black hooded sweatshirt, a black t-shirt, light brown bib overalls and either work boots or sneakers. Carrying a camouflage-print backpack.
  • Distinguishing Characteristics Caucasian male. Brown hair, brown eyes. Farber has a dog bite scar on each cheek and a small scar on his forehead. He has numerous tattoos, including but not limited to: a fox on his left upper arm at the shoulder, a black star wreath above the Roman numerals II, III and IV on the inside of his left forearm, a small ankh symbol on his left forearm, a skull with a snake coming out of it on his right upper arm at the shoulder, a colorful dragon's skull and words in black Gothic script on his upper back, a bear claw print on the right side of his chest, and a stick figure drawing in a keyhole shape on the left side of his ribcage showing a scene of a man hanging from a tree. Photos of some of his tattoos are posted with this case summary. Farber may use the name Jesse Rex. He has a chipped front tooth. He smoked cigarettes at the time of his disappearance. Farber may have some Latino ancestry.

Details of Disappearance

Farber was last seen in Tamaqua, Pennsylvania on August 11, 2015. Earlier that day, he made plans to meet a drug dealer at a fast food restaurant at noon so he could buy drugs, but one or the other of them arrived to the meeting late and the drug deal never happened.

A man reported seeing him at 7:20 p.m., walking out of town, heading south on Hunter Street towards a trail that leads west into the coal fields. At 9:09 p.m. he called his girlfriend, frantic, and said ten or eleven "coyotes" had chased him up a tree. He said he was on Sharp Mountain west of Tamaqua High School, the battery on his phone was dying, and to come help and "bring guns."

The call was disconnected before he could say anything more, and when Farber's girlfriend tried to call him back, he didn't answer. She and her brother went to Sharp Mountain and searched for him without result. She then notified the police, who did their own search, which also yielded nothing. Farber has never been heard from again.

In December 2016, almost a year and a half after Farber's disappearance, a hunter found his sweatpants in a tree on a remote, steep mountainside near the top of Sharp Mountain. Farber's backpack was higher up in the same tree.

The tree is described as a small, skinny one; there were plenty of trees nearby that were taller and would have made more suitable hiding places. It was also miles away from where Farber had told his girlfriend he was. It was next to a coal ridge of cliffs, shafts and hidden tunnels. If Farber had panicked and tried to run in the dark, he could have fallen down a mine shaft. The shafts in the area were up to 140 feet deep.

Although the find of the sweatpants and backpack indicates Farber did indeed climb up a tree to hide, investigators are not sure what he was hiding from. It was probably not from actual coyotes; it is not normal coyote behavior to hunt in packs or chase people up trees. One theory is Farber was having a drug-induced hallucination; another is that by coyotes, he meant members of a drug gang called the Coyotes.

Farber's mother believes in the gang theory and thinks the gang members planted his belongings in the tree after his disappearance to mislead the investigation. The police, however, have said they are unaware of the existence of any gang called the Coyotes in the area, and that their inquiries in the drug world have not produced any leads in Farber's disappearance.

His case remains unsolved and the circumstances of his disappearance are unclear.

Investigating Agency

  • Tamaqua Police Department 570-668-5000

Updated 1 time since October 12, 2004. Last updated February 5, 2022; casefile added.