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Israel owned Hanson Trailer Storage in the 7500 block of north 72nd Avenue in Pinellas Park, Florida. His residence was adjacent to the business. Israel was last seen at approximately 12:00 p.m. on December 8, 1996. A repairman reported that he was inside his home at the time. Israel has never been heard from again. His car was left behind, parked in the driveway. His adult daughter, his only child, reported him as a missing person the same day he was last seen.
Authorities initially believed that Israel became disoriented and wandered away from his house. His family members said that he was in good mental and physical condition in 1996, and had not spent a night away from home in thirty years. There was no sign of a struggle at his residence. Investigators learned that Israel evicted his former tenant, Edward William Vanderbilt, for non-payment of rent prior to his disappearance. Israel's case was reclassified as a homicide after authorities announced the discovery of a bloodstained piece of carpeting inside his home.
Prior to his disappearance, Israel usually drove everywhere, even for very short trips. He had lived in Florida for thirty years prior to 1996 and during that time had never spent a night away from his home, and usually returned to his residence by nightfall. There have not been any arrests in connection with Israel's disappearance, which remains unsolved.
Pinellas County Sheriff's Office