Michael Francis Mergen

Mergen, circa 1990

  • Missing Since 01/24/1990
  • Missing From Palm Beach County, Florida
  • Classification Lost/Injured Missing
  • Sex Male
  • Race White
  • Date of Birth 04/25/1966 (58)
  • Age 23 years old
  • Height and Weight 6'1, 185 pounds
  • Associated Vehicle(s) Cessna 152 airplane
  • Distinguishing Characteristics Caucasian male. Brown hair, brown eyes. Mergen's nickname is Mike.

Details of Disappearance

Mergen was disappeared from Palm Beach County, Florida on January 24, 1990. He was teaching a friend, Henry Salvatori, how to fly at the time.

The two men flew out of Palm Beach International Airport (PBIA) in a Cessna 152 at 7:23 p.m., in clear weather with three hours' worth of fuel. They were on a routine training flight en route to Palm Beach County Park Airport in Lantana, Florida.

They didn't file a flight plan or tell anyone where they were going. They were seen practicing landings at Lantana, but they never returned to PBIA.

Mergen and Salvatori had met and befriended each other while attending Pope John Paul High School. They stayed in touch after graduation, although Salvatori moved to Trinidad and Mergen remained in Florida and attended classes at Palm Beach Community College from 1984 to 1989. He was a certified flight instructor with 600 hours of flight experience.

Mergen and Salvatori are believed to have crashed into the Atlantic Ocean, but an extensive search, lasting months and covering a 250-mile radius around the Lantana airport, turned up no sign of them or the plane.

Investigating Agency

  • Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office 800-458-8477

Updated 2 times since October 12, 2004. Last updated March 18, 2017; details of disappearance updated.