Melvin Nadel

Nadel, circa 2009

  • Missing Since 09/06/2009
  • Missing From Pecos, New Mexico
  • Classification Lost/Injured Missing
  • Sex Male
  • Race White
  • Date of Birth 03/13/1948 (76)
  • Age 61 years old
  • Height and Weight 5'2, 135 pounds
  • Clothing/Jewelry Description A camouflage-print jacket, shirt and pants, polypropylene underclothes, thermal socks, hiking boots, a Lucky 13 pendant and a black Seiko watch.
  • Medical Conditions Nadel's knee was injured at the time of his disappearance and he had it wrapped up.
  • Associated Vehicle(s) 2001 Jeep Cherokee with the New Mexico license plate number HKJ664 (accounted for)
  • Distinguishing Characteristics Caucasian male. Black hair, brown eyes. Nadel's nickname is Mel.

Details of Disappearance

Nadel was last seen bow hunting with two friends in the Elk Mountain area in the Santa Fe National Forest near Pecos, New Mexico on September 6, 2009. He took a .44 Special revolver and a camouflage-print Martin bow with black and white zebra-striped arrows.

At 4:30 p.m., Nadel left the campsite. He told his friends he would not travel far and would be back by nightfall, but he never returned and has never been heard from again.

He left his 2001 Jeep Cherokee with the New Mexico license plate number HKJ664 near the campsite with most of his gear locked inside, including his backpack, cellular phone and GPS unit. He normally carried the GPS with him while he hunted to keep from getting lost.

Dogs tracked Nadel's scent for about 50 yards from the camp, down the trail he said he would use. His loved ones stated he had become lost once before and after that experience, he preferred to stick close to the campsite.

At the time of his disappearance, Nadel owned a Pilates Fitness Plus gym in the 1000 block of south Saint Francis Drive Santa Fe, New Mexico. He formerly owned a jewelry store. He was a popular fitness instructor and also has a first-degree black belt in tae kwon do. When hunting, he prefers to sit in a blind and wait for game to pass by rather than go looking for it.

Nadel was born in Brooklyn, New York, and moved to New Mexico with his wife and daughter in 1991. He homeschooled his daughter and was close to her; she was a community college student at the time of his disappearance. His wife stated he had no health problems.

Nadel's family doesn't believe he left of his own accord, and police can't find any evidence of foul play in his disappearance. He is presumed to have become lost or injured in the wilderness.

Investigating Agency

  • New Mexico State Police 505-827-9300

Updated 2 times since October 12, 2004. Last updated September 27, 2010; details of disappearance updated.