Craig Lee White
White, approximately 1990; Jesse Watkins in 2009
Date reported missing : 02/23/1990
Missing location (approx) :
Middle Township, New Jersey
Missing classification : Endangered Missing
Gender : Male
Age at the time of disappearance: 18 years old
Height / Weight : 5'6 - 5'7, 130 pounds
Description, clothing, jewerly and more : Black sweatpants, a black and gray Adidas sweatshirt, a gray jacket, a black knit Raiders cap and work boots.
Distinguishing characteristics, birthmarks, tattoos : African-American male. Black hair, brown eyes.
Information on the case from local sources, may or may not be correct : White was last seen in Middle Township, New Jersey at 6:00 p.m. on February 23, 1990. He was lifting weights at his residence in the 400 block of Washington Avenue when his cousin, Jesse E. Watkins, came over and asked White to go to the woods and help him cut poles. A photograph of Watkins is withÂ below this summary. White agreed to go with him, and the men left together in Watkins's new maroon pickup truck.
White said he would be back shortly, but he has never been heard from again. He left his room unlocked and music playing, and he left personal belongings behind. He also had a one-year-old son, and his loved ones stated it would be uncharacteristic of him to abandon the child. His mother waited a week before reporting him missing.
Watkins gave inconsistent stories as to where he last saw White. In 2007, he was charged with White's murder. Authorities believe jealousy was the motive; in late 1989, Watkins found out White had been seeing his girlfriend. Several family members had warned White to stay away from Watkins prior to his disappearance.
Watkins allegedly told another girlfriend he had killed White. He supposedly said he hit him with a brick, shot him and threw this body in a river. A male friend of Watkins claims they once discussed the best way to dispose of a body and suggested weighing it down with a cement block and throwing it into a river.
At Watkins's trial in 2009, the prosecution called witnesses who testified they heard Watkins confess to White's murder on several occasions. The stories he supposedly told them contradicted each other. Watkins's attorney said there was no evidence White is even dead, and called witnesses who believe they saw him alive after his February 1990 disappearance.
White was facing drug charges at the time of his disappearance, which could have given him a reason to drop out of sight. However, he had always made his court appearances before, and his mother stated he had never had a driver's license and rarely traveled far from home. Watkins was convicted of first-degree murder in February 2009.
White dropped out of Middle Township High School in the tenth grade. He later worked for C & C Sanitation and at a bus garAge at the time of disappearance: , but he was unemployed at the time of his disappearance. Foul play is suspected in White's case due to the circumstances involved. Investigators are searching for his body.
Other information and links : ncy
Cape May County Prosecutor's Office
September 2021 updates and sources
The Atlantic City Press
The Cape May County Herald
The Doe Network
Free Jesse Watkins
The Atlantic City Press
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.
October 12, 2004. July 13, 2018; picture added.