The nature areas of the United States are some of the most amazing places in the world, with incredible terrain and spectacular sights. However, the land is so vast, and even though it is protected, some tourists and explorers that venture there can get lost or worse.
A lot of people can go missing, and their disappearances never get explained and can often remain a mystery. Here are some of the strangest missing persons cases that happened in the US wilderness.
5Victor Dwight: West Virginia
In 1994, 5-year-old Victor Dwight visited his grandfather with some cousins in West Virginia, and while they were playing in the woods, Victor returned to his grandpa’s trailer to get some food. However, he never reached the trailer, and a large search party of almost 350 people was organized to look for the boy.
The search lasted five days, and after Victor wasn’t found, it continued for five more months. During the initial search, dogs couldn’t find his scent, and no evidence of the boy was found. Some people reported seeing a black truck close to his grandfather’s home. The young cousins Victor was with claimed that they didn’t see anything suspicious.
However, his parents think that the cousins didn’t reveal some important details and are not speaking with them anymore. After more than 20 years, Victor was never found, and his parents have kept his childhood room unchanged, hoping that he will return home one day.
4David Blake: Georgia
David Blake used to hike quite often in Kennesaw Battlefield Park, Georgia but in March 2018, he went on a hike and was never seen again. Before Blake went missing, he sent a few messages from his phone, but he never went to work on the following day, so his family informed the authorities.
The search party found his car in a parking lot close to Kennesaw Mountain and his gear and keys were inside the vehicle. Search dogs followed Blake’s scent for several miles, and it was determined that Blake didn’t take the hiking trail. After a week of searching, Blake wasn’t found, and a private detective was hired by his family to look for more clues.
The family managed to collect $17,000 in a crowdfunding campaign to help search for Blake, but he was never found. Even though the circumstances of his disappearance were mysterious, Blake was never involved in illegal activities or strange behaviors, and his family believes that he might still be alive.
3Aaron Hedges: Montana
In the fall of 2014, a 38-year-old hunter named Aaron Hedges went to look for elk in Montana’s Crazy Mountains with a group of friends. He went off-trail and told the group that he was going to a place they visited one year earlier, however, after three days, he was reported missing.
A search party went to look for Hedges. However, it started snowing, and it made the search more difficult. Almost 60 people, 20 dogs, and a few helicopters were sent on the rescue, but there was no trace of Hedges. Later, the search team found his boots in the snow and some evidence that he tried to light a fire. Almost a year later, a man discovered the hunter’s ID and found some of his clothes in a backpack close to a ranch.
Soon after, Hedges’ body was found, 15 miles away from his original destination and it looked like he was heading in the opposite direction. Even though the case was closed by the authorities and it was determined that Hedges was disoriented and passed away from hypothermia, some details of this story are unclear, like the missing boots that were found and the fact that he removed some of his clothes. The case still remains mysterious.
2Drake Kramer: Arizona
At the beginning of 2015, 21-year-old Drake Kramer spontaneously left his home and went to drive around Grand Canyon. Kramer was experienced in hiking, and he often took the same route in Grand Canyon. He spent the night in a lodge and traveled south, however, the next day, his family received some strange text messages from him.
Kramer wrote to his dad and claimed had to “be back with Mother Earth and set his soul free.” Kramer’s dad began to believe that his son had thoughts of suicide and called the authorities. Later, his friends told his parents that Drake was living with a colleague and that he traveled to California before his trip to Grand Canyon.
In one weekend, Drake crossed a thousand miles and later, the police found his car close to the lodge he stayed at in Grand Canyon. After a week, the police stopped the search. They found a letter which stated “I truly love and cherish every soul I met and will meet in my lifetime, ” which led everyone to believe he committed suicide, however, his body was never found.
1Laura Bradbury: California
The Bradbury family took their three children on their annual trip to Joshua Tree in 1984 and while they were camping, one of their kids, Laura, went missing. Laura was three years old, and even though a lot of park rangers and sheriffs organized a search party, her case was never solved.
After three days of searching, the authorities started to believe that a kidnapping had occurred. Search dogs managed to follow her scent to a small road, but nothing was found. Some reports revealed that there was a blue van in the area and a suspicious driver.
In 1986, some fragments of a small skull were found in a campsite and analysis revealed that they belonged to Laura. It’s quite possible that somebody returned the fragments to the area after two years since they weren’t found during the original search.
What’s even stranger is that three people went to the police and revealed some details about Laura’s kidnappers, however, the three people were also kidnapped and murdered just a few months after that.
Mike, Laura’s father, noticed that the circumstances around Laura’s kidnapping were suspicious and believed that the police was involved in silencing the case. After more than three decades, the case remains unsolved.