John Paul Parton Jr.

Parton, circa 2021

  • Missing Since 05/16/2021
  • Missing From High Ridge, Missouri
  • Classification Endangered Missing
  • Sex Male
  • Race White
  • Date of Birth 04/10/2002 (22)
  • Age 19 years old
  • Height and Weight 6'0, 175 pounds
  • Distinguishing Characteristics Caucasian male. Brown hair, brown eyes. Parton may go by his initials, JP.

Details of Disappearance

Parton was last seen leaving his residence in High Ridge, Missouri on May 16, 2021. After he got home from work that day, he told his parents he was going camping with friends and would be back the next day.

Later that same night, Parton called his parents and said he and three friends had broken into a certain property and stolen money and valuables worth about $2,000. Two days earlier, he had been asked to leave that property by the landlord after an altercation between Parton and his girlfriend.

Parton told his parents he felt guilty about the burglary and that there had been a dispute over how the proceeds of the crime should be divided. He never returned home, and the call to his parents confessing involvement in a burglary was the last indication of his whereabouts. They reported him missing on May 24. His parents said it's extremely uncharacteristic of him to leave without warning, especially for this long.

Parton's parents believe their son's disappearance could be tied to the death of Derontae Martin, a 19-year-old Ferguson, Missouri man who died of a gunshot wound to the head in April 2021. He was at a party when he died, and witnesses said he took his own life while under the influence of methamphetamine. The police said they'd found no evidence of foul play in his death. It was initially ruled a suicide, but after Martin's family questioned the ruling, there was an autopsy and an inquest.

The coroner's jury ruled that Martin died by violence, not suicide. The last time Parton saw his parents, he told them that he had been present when Martin died and that Martin had been murdered. No one has been arrested in Martin's death.

In April 2024, Thomas E. "Tedo" Gamble was arrested in Louisiana and charged with murder, tampering with evidence and disposal of a corpse in Parton's case. Authorities stated they had discovered Parton was murdered in St. Francois County, Missouri on May 18, two days after he was last seen, but they haven't found his body. Gamble is awaiting trial.

Foul play is suspected in Parton's case due to the circumstances involved.

Investigating Agency

  • Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office 636-797-5000

Updated 2 times since October 12, 2004. Last updated May 10, 2024; details of disappearance updated.