Ronald Joe Cole

Cole, circa 1965

  • Missing Since 05/01/1965
  • Missing From Fillmore, California
  • Classification Endangered Missing
  • Sex Male
  • Race White
  • Date of Birth 09/21/1945 (78)
  • Age 19 years old
  • Height and Weight 6'1, 140 pounds
  • Distinguishing Characteristics Caucasian male. Brown hair, hazel eyes. Cole has a scar on his left cheek. He has a chipped front tooth.

Details of Disappearance

Cole was last seen in Fillmore, California on May 1, 1965. He had moved from San Diego, California to stay with his half-brother, David LaFever, in Fillmore earlier that year. He was still looking for a job when he disappeared. He has never been heard from again.

David and his wife, Margaret, were arrested in Arizona in 1983. They were charged with multiple counts of child abuse and child pornography in connection with an 11-year-old girl who posed as their daughter, but wasn't actually related to them.

After the arrest, investigators discovered David had told friends and family members he murdered Cole.

Margaret's 20-year-old brother, Jon Brian Skaggs, disappeared in 1977. His body was found in a shallow grave near the LaFevers' former home in Galt, California in July 1984. He had been shot to death.

Investigators named David as the prime suspect in Skaggs's murder and Cole's disappearance, but neither of the LaFevers were charged in connection with either case.

Cole's disappearance remains unsolved. Foul play is suspected.

Investigating Agency

  • Ventura County Sheriff's Department 805-654-2324

Updated 3 times since October 12, 2004. Last updated April 11, 2024; distinguishing characteristics updated.