Details of Disappearance
Justin was last seen in Kaibab National Forest in Arizona on June 29, 2001. He and some three friends, who were all between the ages of 18 and 21, had gone into to an area a few miles south of Grand Canyon National Park and five miles west of Moqui Lodge (which has since been torn down). Authorities believe he had been partying and was under the influence of drugs, possibly methamphetamine.
Justin and his three friends got separated, and two of them got lost. Justin and another friend went to Tusayan, Arizona and asked another friend to help look for the missing pair. In the meantime, the two missing ones were located by Grand Canyon Railway employees south of Tusayan, Arizona, but Justin didn't know this.
Justin and another of his friends returned to the Kaibab National Forest, at a spot five miles from Tusayan and fifteen miles from where their friends had been found some time earlier. His companion went to sleep at 9:00 a.m. When he woke up at 5:00 p.m., Justin was gone.
He has never been heard from again. His father reported him missing on July 1. An extensive search of the area turned up no sign of him.
Justin had been to the area four times before he disappeared, and was very familiar with it; he'd never gotten lost before. Authorities aren't sure whether he did in fact lose track of his surroundings. He had run away from home once before, and it's possible he tried to do so again and was picked up hitchhiking by a passing motorist.
Investigators believe foul play is possible in Justin's case; they think he could have been killed in the forest shortly after his disappearance. If he did leave of his own accord, he may have tried to go to Chicago, Illinois to see his girlfriend.
Justin lived with his father in Tusayan at the time of his disappearance, and is described a popular teen with many friends. Investigators believe he'd been abusing drugs and alcohol for about a year prior to going missing. His case remains unsolved and foul play is suspected.