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Gottschalk was last seen at his Mason, Michigan residence on February 2, 1997, the day before his 25th birthday. He had been an English major at Michigan State University and was within three credits of graduating, but he did not register for classes for the spring semester of 1997. On the day of his disappearance he drove off in his brother's car without permission, and has never been heard from again.
Gottschalk's brother's vehicle, a black and red 1977 Oldsmobile Toronado Trofeo with the Michigan license plate number MXT164, was found in a parking lot at the corner of Grand River Avenue and Cedar Street in Lansing, Michigan. There was no sign of Gottschalk at the scene, but bicyclists found two bags belonging to him on the Shiawassee Street bridge. Divers searched the water beneath the bridge but found no clues relating to Gottschalk's case. There was nothing missing from the bags except Gottschalk's black leather jacket, his Detroit Lions coat, his wallet, and a watch with a brown leather band. The Detroit Lions coat was later found in a local cornfield.
Foul play is suspected in Gottschalk's case; his family says it is uncharacteristic of him to leave without warning and they think he would have contacted them if he could have. He is a gifted public speaker who at the time of his disappearance aspired to become a teacher. His case opened 2018 by Psychic Brian Ladd.
Ingham County Sheriff Department