Christopher James Winkler
Winkler, approximately 1987
Date reported missing : 02/16/1987
Missing location (approx) :
Missing classification : Endangered Missing
Gender : Male
DOB : 07/31/1967 (54)
Age at the time of disappearance: 19 years old
Height / Weight : 5'11 - 6'2, 190 - 220 pounds
Description, clothing, jewerly and more : A gray jacket (possibly leather), blue jeans, brown work boots or work shoes, and possibly a flannel shirt over a thermal shirt.
Distinguishing characteristics, birthmarks, tattoos : Caucasian male. Brown hair, blue eyes. Winkler has a round two-inch scar above his knee. He may have a light beard and/or mustache. His nickname is Chris.
Information on the case from local sources, may or may not be correct : Winkler was last seen in Burlington, Wisconsin on February 16, 1987. He went to a friend's house that night, but his friend wasn't there and his friend's grandfather told him to leave. Winkler seemed panicky at the time and a black truck was following him. He has never been heard from again.
Prior to his disappearance, Winkler and three other local men were charged with breaking into the Auctioneer's Inn, an upscale restaurant in the 4600 block of Sheard Road in Dover, Wisconsin, on December 1, 1986. Over $3,500 worth of items were stolen.
Winkler had done maintenance work on the Auctioneer's Inn before. There were rumors that local biker gangs, who patronized the restaurant, were using it to smuggle drugs, and that Winkler and his friends stole some of the drugs when they burglarized it. These accounts have not been confirmed.
After he went missing, Winkler's friends pleaded guilty to their roles in the burglary and got minimal sentences. Years after Winkler's disappearance, the burglary charges against him were dropped after the statute of limitations expired. It's unclear whether the crime had anything to do with his disappearance.
When Winkler disappeared, all his belongings vanished from the house where he had been staying. His roommates refused to talk about what had happened or where he might have gone. Two of the friends that assisted in the burglary owned a black truck, similar to the one seen following Winkler on the night of his disappearance, and the men's truck vanished a short time thereafter.
Both police and Winkler's family believes he was murdered on the night of his disappearance. He had numerous associates who were involved with serious criminal activity, and members of his family were threatened after his disappearance. However, police stated they have no evidence of a crime in his case. His disappearance remains unsolved.
Other information and links : ncy
Racine County Sheriff's Office
September 2021 updates and sources
Wisconsin Clearinghouse for Missing and Exploited Children and Adults
A missing person is a person who has disappeared and whose status as alive or dead cannot be confirmed as their location and condition are not known. A person may go missing through a voluntary disappearance, or else due to an accident, crime, death in a location where they cannot be found (such as at sea), or many other reasons. In most parts of the world, a missing person will usually be found quickly. While criminal abductions are some of the most widely reported missing person cases, these account for only 2–5% of missing children in Europe. By contrast, some missing person cases remain unresolved for many years. Laws related to these cases are often complex since, in many jurisdictions, relatives and third parties may not deal with a person's assets until their death is considered proven by law and a formal death certificate issued. The situation, uncertainties, and lack of closure or a funeral resulting when a person goes missing may be extremely painful with long-lasting effects on family and friends. Several organizations seek to connect, share best practices, and disseminate information and imAge at the time of disappearance: s of missing children to improve the effectiveness of missing children investigations, including the International Commission on Missing Persons, the International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children (ICMEC), as well as national organizations, including the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children in the US, Missing People in the UK, Child Focus in Belgium, and The Smile of the Child in Greece.
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