Cooper, approximately 1999; James Kendrick
Date and time person was reported missing : 05/01/1999
Missing location (approx) :
Rochester, New York
Missing classification : Endangered Missing
Gender : Male
DOB : 07/30/1976 (45)
Age at the time of disappearance: 23 years old
Height / Weight : 5'5, 185 pounds
Distinguishing characteristics, birthmarks, tattoos
: Native American male. Black hair, brown eyes. Cooper's nickname is Chewy. He has acne scars and a scar on his left cheek and his lip. He also has several tattoos, including a cat, a Joker, the word "Indio" and the name "JH Ryan."
Information on the case from local sources, may or may not be correct : Cooper was last seen in Rochester, New York sometime between May and July of 1999. He left behind a three-year-old son, and his girlfriend was pregnant with their daughter. Most of his family lived on the Cattaraugus Indian Reservation, more than a two-hour drive away. His mother died of cancer in 2010, eleven years after his disappearance.
In March 2011, James Kendrick and Pablo Plaza were charged with murdering Cooper. The defendants, both of them Cooper's cousins, were two of eleven individuals charged with a variety of drug- and weapons-related offenses.
Kendrick, Plaza, and other individuals are also charged with murdering Francisco Santos, who disappeared from Rochester in 1998. His body was found in May 1999 on the Cattaraugus Indian Reservation.Â Authorities believe Kendrick had been the ringleader of a violent drug trafficking enterprise since 1993. A photo of him is posted with this case summary.
In May 2014, Plaza reached a plea deal with the prosecution; he admitted he'd been involved in the murders of Cooper and Santos, and pleaded guilty to Santos's murder. Plaza stated he's been present when two people beat Cooper to death. The motive for the killing was that Cooper, who was also a member of the drug gang, knew about Santos's murder and knew where the body was, and the other members of the gang thought he might go to the police.
In July 2016, Kendrick was convicted of a slew of charges, including the murders of Santos and Cooper.
Cooper's body has never been located; investigators believe it was dismembered, possibly in a wood chipper, and the parts were stuffed in garbAge at the time of disappearance: bags and dumped near the railroad tracks in Rochester. Foul play is suspected in his case due to the circumstances involved.
Other information and links : ncy
Rochester Police Department
September 2021 updates and sources
The Democrat and Chronicle
Federal Bureau of Investigation
The Doe Network
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. September 16, 2016; picture added, Information on the case from local sources, may or may not be correct : updated.
Interactive Missing Person Search Map