Franklin Thomas Gottschalk
Gottschalk, approximately 1997
Date reported missing : 02/02/1997
Missing location (approx) :
Missing classification : Endangered Missing
Gender : Male
DOB : 02/03/1972 (49)
Age at the time of disappearance: 24 years old
Height / Weight : 5'4, 150 pounds
Description, clothing, jewerly and more : Possibly a black leather jacket and a watch with a brown leather band.
Medical conditions : Gottschalk was reportedly depressed at the time of his disappearance.
Distinguishing characteristics, birthmarks, tattoos : Caucasian male. Brown hair, brown eyes. Gottschalk has a scar on his left shoulder from a motorcycle accident, and a scar on his solar plexus area.
Information on the case from local sources, may or may not be correct : 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 his case.
There was nothing Missing location (approx) : 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 remains unsolved.
Other information and links : ncy
Ingham County Sheriff Department
September 2021 updates and sources
The State News
The Child Seek 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. February 8, 2019; picture added.