Details of Disappearance
Roger was last seen leaving his home in the 14500 block of Sayre Street in Sylmar, California on December 16, 1968. He had an argument with his father about smoking and rode away from his house on his motorcycle. Roger never returned home and has never been heard from again. His family initially believed he'd run away from home.
Roger loved animals and rock and roll music in 1968. He enjoyed playing sports and playing the guitar, and he was close to his family, which included his parents, two sisters and two brothers. Roger's parents have died, but his siblings are alive and hope for a resolution in his case.
Authorities believe Mack Ray Edwards was responsible for Roger's disappearance. A photograph of him is posted below this case summary. In 1970, Edwards pleaded guilty to killing three California children and sentenced to death at his own request. He confessed to killing Roger and two other missing children, Brenda Howell
and Donald Baker
Edwards lived just five houses down the street from Roger's home and was a regular visitor there. Roger was a classmate of Edwards's adopted son, and the two boys were friendly with each other. Edwards stated he lured Roger into an orange grove and tricked him into agreeing to be tied up as part of a game. Edwards said he then stabbed him to death and buried his body under the 23 Freeway in Thousand Oaks, California.
The freeway was under construction at the time and Edwards was looking at the site. He claimed he used a bulldozer to bury Roger's body. Authorities believe he was also most likely responsible for the murders of several other children and the disappearances of Thomas Bowman
, Bruce Kremen
, Ramona Price
and Karen Tompkins
Edwards lead authorities to a site where he said he had buried some of his victims, but no evidence was located and he was never charged in connection with any of the missing children's cases. He died by suicide on death row in 1971. A photograph of Edwards is posted with this case summary. His alleged victims ranged in age from seven to sixteen years old.
Foul play is suspected in Roger's case due to the circumstances involved. His case was reopened in 2007 as authorities renewed the search for the bodies of Edwards's victims. Edwards was employed as a heavy equipment operator in the 1950s and 1960s, and helped construct many highways across the state of California. Investigators believe he may have buried the children's remains under the highways.
In 2008, they dug a 25-foot-deep pit near the 23 Freeway in search of Roger's body, but the search was called off due to safety concerns. Authorities believe Roger's remains are very close to the search site, however, and his younger sister left a bouquet of flowers there.