James Michael Welter
Welter, approximately 1986
Date reported missing : 01/01/1986
Missing location (approx) :
Ocean Springs, Mississippi
Missing classification : Endangered Missing
Gender : Male
DOB : 10/02/1951 (69)
Age at the time of disappearance: 34 years old
Height / Weight : 5'7, 160 pounds
Description, clothing, jewerly and more : Civilian clothing, but he may have been carrying military accessories such as a web belt or military identification.
Distinguishing characteristics, birthmarks, tattoos : Caucasian male. Brown hair, brown eyes. Welter's nickname is Jimmy. He has a mustache.
Information on the case from local sources, may or may not be correct : Welter was last seen in Ocean Springs, Mississippi in early January, 1986. He disappeared a day or two after he was arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) after having a minor accident on New Years' Day. He lived in Jefferson Davis Apartments at the time, and was a staff sergeant at Keesler Air Force Base. He was on leave when he disappeared and was scheduled to return to duty on January 6, but never arrived.
The Air Force listed him as absent without leave (AWOL) on January 8. Welter's court date for the DUI charge was on January 15; he never showed up. He left behind his checkbook, savings book, passport and other personal belongings.
Welter was driving a blue 1978 Ford Grenada at the time of his disappearance; it was later located being driven by another man. The man told authorities he'd bought the car on a salvAge at the time of disappearance: bond from two unidentified individuals in March 1986.
There has been no activity on Welter's Social Security number since January 1986. Private investigators hired by his family believe he may have taken another name and moved to Shreveport, Louisiana with a girlfriend, but this has not been confirmed.
Welter, one of ten children, grew up in Illinois and attended Grant High School and Lake County College, where he was a champion athlete. He was declared legally dead in 2002, and his family held a memorial service. His case remains unsolved.
Other information and links : ncy
Air Force Office of Criminal Investigations
September 2021 updates and sources
The Doe Network
Porchlight International for the Missing and Unidentified
The Waukegan News Sun
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 23, 2012; Description, clothing, jewerly and more : added, Distinguishing characteristics, birthmarks, tattoos : and Information on the case from local sources, may or may not be correct : updated.