Description, clothing, tattoos, other identifying markings: A green Texaco t-shirt, a coat with the name "Joe" on it, blue jeans and lace-up hiking boots.
Other characteristics: Caucasian male. Brown hair. Lepley's right hand is scarred and deformed. He goes by his middle name, Joe, and his nickname is Taco. He has a coppery complexion.
Details at time of disappearance: Lepley was last seen at the Texaco station at Interstate 25 and Colorado 165 in Colorado City, Colorado on May 30, 1976. He had worked there part time for two years. Lepley picked up the keys from the manager and began his shift at 6:15 a.m.
Only about fifteen minutes later, customers wanting to buy gas discovered the station was unattended. A short time after that, Lepley's manager and the police found Lepley's 1967 pickup truck in the station parking lot with the keys in the ignition. Inside the station, the manager's citizen band (CB) radio had its microphone ripped out and the cash register, which had contained between $50 and $100, was empty. Lepley has never been heard from again.
Authorities stated a middle-aged Caucasian male, with graying sandy-colored hair and blue eyes, about 5'11 tall and 175 pounds, was seen at the Texaco station between 6:30 and 7:30 the morning Lepley disappeared.
The person drove a "flashy" two-door late model car, possibly a Pontiac Grand Prix, colored silver or white with maroon trim and a maroon landau top. He was pulling an unusual four- or five-foot-long, tarp-covered plywood trailer that may have been handmade. He may have been en route to Wyoming at the time. This individual is the prime suspect in Lepley's disappearance. He has never been identified.
Foul play is suspected in Lepley's case. He was a senior and honor student at Rye High School at the time of his disappearance, studying motorcycle mechanics in a vocational program, and went missing just days before graduation. He was a pole-vaulter, a football player and basketball player, and once had been president of his class. After his graduation, Lepley planned to spend the summer working for his father as a plumbing apprentice, then enlist in the Air Force and attend Adams State College.
Charles Humphrey is a suspect in Lepley's disappearance. He was a college English professor in 1976. Charles is the prime suspect in the murders of his two wives: Lucila, who disappeared just days before Lepley did and whose body was found in 1981, and Bonnie, who was murdered in December 1979, several months after her divorce from Charles. He died by suicide before police could arrest him, and it's clear why he's a suspect in Lepley's case.
Lepley's mother believe he was abducted after he surprised someone burglarizing the gas station. Although he disappeared during the daylight hours in a high-traffic area on Memorial Day Weekend, no one saw or heard anything suspicious. His case remains unsolved.
Other case information
Agency in charge: Pueblo County Sheriff's Office
Other information: The Doe Network
The Greeley Daily Tribune
The Hutchinson News
The Colorado Springs Gazette Telegraph
The Salina Journal
The Denver Post
Whereabouts Still Unknown
Psychic detective links:
Revised: October 12, 2004. Last updated November 16, 2018 details of disappearance updated.