Stephan Mitchell Adams
Adams, circa 2004; Sketch of unidentified man; Truck similar to Adams's vehicle
- Missing Since 12/13/2004
- Missing From Tahlequah, Oklahoma
- Classification Endangered Missing
- Sex Male
- Race Native American
- Date of Birth 08/04/1978 (44)
- Age 26 years old
- Height and Weight 5'7, 164 - 200 pounds
- Clothing/Jewelry Description A black t-shirt and jeans. Carrying a dark-colored bookbag.
- Medical Conditions Adams has severe asthma and may need an inhaler to control the condition. Both of his inhalers were left behind at his residence.
- Associated Vehicle(s) White 1995 or 1998 GMC SCI one-ton truck with a short bed, chrome bedrails, no taillight covers, and the Oklahoma license plate number SEQ714
- Distinguishing Characteristics Native American male. Brown hair, brown eyes. Adams usually has a full beard. His hair was collar-length at the time of his disappearance. Many accounts spell his name "Stephen" or "Steven."
Details of Disappearance
Adams called his girlfriend on his cellular phone at 11:00 a.m. on December 13, 2004 and told her he was giving a man a ride to Keys, Oklahoma. He was in good spirits at the time of the conversation. Authorities later determined that at the time he spoke to his girlfriend, Adams had been south of Tahlequah, Oklahoma.
Someone tried to call his phone at 11:30 a.m. and it rang only once before going to voice mail; all calls after that were transferred immediately to voice mail. Between 11:30 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. he was seen at a convenience store in Cookson, Oklahoma. Adams appeared to be upset and agitated at the time. He purchased a soda, then stood outside the store for about five minutes before he left the vicinity in his pickup. He was apparently alone. He has never been heard from again.
Authorities consider Adams's disappearance suspicious and foul play is possible in his case. His vehicle, a white 1995 or 1998 GMC SCI one-ton truck with a short bed, chrome bedrails, no taillight covers, and the Oklahoma license plate number SEQ714, is also missing. A photograph of a similar truck is posted with this case summary.
Adams has not used his credit cards or cellular phone since his disappearance, and he left all of his personal belongings behind and money in his dresser. He was a student at Northeastern State University in Tahlequah at the time of his disappearance; he had previously attended Haskell Indian Nations University in Kansas. Adams hoped to get an engineering degree and a job in management.
Investigators would like to identify and interview a possible witness in Adams's disappearance. He was seen at a Dollar General store on east Downing Street in Tahlequah, close to Adams's apartment, on the morning of December 13.
They describe the individual as a Caucasian male, 5'11 and 180 to 200 pounds, with brown and salt-and-pepper collar-length hair and about four days' growth of salt-and-pepper facial hair. He was between 40 and 50 years old in 2004 and was wearing a tan Carhartt jacket, faded blue or black jeans, a flannel shirt, a dark green stocking cap, and eyeglasses. He drove a charcoal-colored or faded black 2000 Ford Ranger pickup truck with a chrome toolbox. A sketch of the individual is posted with this case summary.
Authorities stated that the individual arrived at the store at 7:50 a.m. and hung around in the parking lot for hours. He claimed he was waiting for someone, but no one appeared to meet him. He mentioned to a passerby that he worked at a construction site in Keys, which is just south of Tahlequah.
The man left the parking lot just before 11:00 a.m., around the time Adams disappeared. The person is not being called not a suspect in Adams's case, but police feel he has information that may assist the investigation. He has yet to be identified.
Adams was involved in a very contentious custody battle with his ex-wife over their daughter at the time of his disappearance. He wanted custody of her or at least to be allowed to see her, but his ex-wife objected to this and refused to comply with the court's visitation order. Adams was charged twice with molesting the child, but in neither instance was there enough evidence to take him to trial.
The custody matter had been going on for over two years and there was an important hearing about it scheduled in Muskogee County District Court for a few days after Adams vanished. Authorities do not believe the timing was a coincidence.
A few weeks after Adams disappeared, his family received a telephone threat from an unidentified individual who stated that they would be harmed if the investigation into Adams's disappearance did not end. The caller has not been identified.
Adams resided in the 400 block of east Downing Street in Tahlequah at the time of his disappearance. His case remains unsolved.
- Tahlequah Police Department 918-456-8801
- Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation 800-522-8017
Updated 4 times since October 12, 2004. Last updated April 3, 2008; clothing/jewelry description added, distinguishing characteristics and details of disappearance updated.