Joel Mark Wells

Wells, circa 1994

  • Missing Since 01/15/1994
  • Missing From Hazard, Kentucky
  • Classification Endangered Missing
  • Sex Male
  • Race White
  • Date of Birth 09/02/1972 (51)
  • Age 21 years old
  • Height and Weight 6'0, 160 pounds
  • Clothing/Jewelry Description A blue flannel shirt, a black denim jacket, blue jeans, a green baseball cap with a hemp plant insignia, and tan and green hiking boots.
  • Distinguishing Characteristics Caucasian male. Brown hair, blue eyes. Wells may go by his middle name, Mark.

Details of Disappearance

Wells was last seen in Hazard, Kentucky on January 15, 1994. He got into an argument with a group of friends. He walked away from them and went to a Burger King restaurant at Black Gold Shopping Center.

Wells banged on the door of the establishment, which was in the process of closing. He appeared panicked and was acting as if someone was after him. The employees at the Burger King called the police, who arrived within minutes, but by then Wells was gone.

There was also a Wal-Mart store at the shopping center, and Wells apparently attempted to catch a ride with customers exiting the store after he was last seen at the Burger King. Tracker dogs caught his scent near the river behind the city hall, but a search of the area turned up no indication of his whereabouts.

Wells disappeared less than 24 hours after a gas station on Main Street in Hazard was robbed and its attendant shot to death. The murderer was convicted and sentenced to twenty-five years to life in prison. Authorities investigated the possibility that Wells's disappearance was related to the earlier murder, but could find no evidence to support this theory.

Wells is one of fourteen children and left behind two sons. His case remains unsolved.

Investigating Agency

  • Kentucky State Police
  • Hazard Post
  • 606-435-6069
  • Hazard Police Department
  • 606-436-2222

Updated 4 times since October 12, 2004. Last updated May 21, 2013; distinguishing characteristics and details of disappearance updated.