Rafael Escobar Jr.

Escobar, circa 1976

  • Missing Since 11/30/1976
  • Missing From Staten Island, New York
  • Classification Endangered Missing
  • Sex Male
  • Race Hispanic
  • Date of Birth 12/24/1957 (64)
  • Age 18 years old
  • Height and Weight Unknown
  • Medical Conditions Escobar suffers from mental illness, beginning with a nervous breakdown when he was thirteen years old, and was admitted to psychiatric hospitals on multiple occasions. He was taking medication for his condition, including Lithium. His sister stated he reacted badly to the medications and was "like a zombie."
  • Distinguishing Characteristics Hispanic male. Brown hair. Escobar's nickname is Junior. He is of Puerto Rican descent.

Details of Disappearance

Escobar was last seen on November 30, 1976. At the time of his disappearance, he was a resident at the now-defunct St. Michael's Home for Children, which sat on an 88-acre property in the 1300 block of Arthur Kill Road in the New York City borough of Staten Island.

Children were supposed to leave the home after they turned eighteen, but Escobar stayed; his mental health was deterioarting and and he felt he wasn't ready to leave, and was afraid of what might come next in his life. He had learned he might not be able to achieve his goal of joining the military, and was upset about this, but told his sister he was going to make her proud of him.

Although Escobar had been living in the children's home since the age of thirteen when his mother abandoned the family, he kept in regular touch with his family and visited his sister on weekends. His sister had rented a large apartment and was hoping to get all her siblings out of foster care and group home facilities and take them to live with her. Escobar was supposed to be the next sibling who would come to live in the apartment.

After getting a letter from St. Michael's saying Escobar was missing, his sister filed a missing persons report for him with the police. She was told that foul play was suspected in his disappearance, but there were never any viable leads in his case.

It's worth noting that in 1976 there were reports of children at St. Michael's abusing alcohol and drugs, and becoming victim to physical and sexual violence. It's unclear whether any residents of the group home were involved in Escobar's disappearance, however. His younger brother also lived at the home.

St. Michael's Home for Children closed in 1978. Escobar's sister has never closed her brother's bank account, and never changed her phone number, out of hope that her brother is still alive. There are nine surviving siblings in the family and they still hope for answers in his disappearance.

Investigating Agency

  • New York Police Department

Source Information

Updated 1 time since October 12, 2004. Last updated July 24, 2022; casefile added.