Paul Joseph Knockel

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Above: Knockel, circa 1990

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Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance

  • Missing Since: November 1990 from Dubuque, Iowa
  • Classification: Endangered Missing
  • Date Of Birth: October 26, 1937
  • Age: 53 years old
  • Height and Weight: 5'10, 265 pounds
  • Distinguishing Characteristics: Caucasian male. Brown hair, brown eyes. Knockel wears metal-rimmed eyeglasses and is very dependent on them. He has surgical scars on his right leg and has previously sustained severe breaks to his lower right leg and ankle. Knockel wears a complete set of dentures.
  • Medical Conditions: Knockel is mildly mentally disabled and requires assistance with his finances and other aspects of his life.
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    Details of Disappearance

    Knockel was last seen in Dubuque, Iowa sometime in mid-November 1990; the extact date is unknown. He last had contact with his family on November 12. He was driving his maroon two-door 1981 Mercury Sable or Mercury Zephyr with the Iowa license plate number NBL923 at the time of his disappearance; a photo of it is posted below this case summary. On November 13, his family thought they saw Knockel's car parked along Route 151, just over the Wisconsin border. A few hours later the vehicle had disappeared; it has never been recovered.

    Knockel didn't show up to celebrate Thanksgiving with his relatives, which is uncharacteristic of him. He has never been heard from again. His family became concerned when he didn't show up for the holiday meal and they went to his house. His loved ones found his wallet, watch and shoes at his home in the 2100 block of Washington Street, but there was no sign of him or his car. He was reported missing on November 26 after he didn't show up for his job at the Swiss Colony mail-order gift house in Monroe, Wisconsin.

    Knockel was unmarried and childless, worked menial jobs, didn't abuse drugs or alcohol and and rarely went out in 1990. His loved ones believe he was abducted and murdered, as they think he would never have left of his own accord. Police stated he wasn't involved in any high-risk activities and he didn't have any enemies at the time of his disappearance. Authorities think it's possible he went into the Mississippi River, but they're not sure whether his disappearance was accidental, a suicide or a homicide. His case remains unsolved.

    Car
    Above: Knockel's car

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    Investigating Agency
    If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
    Dubuque Police Department
    319-589-4410

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    Source Information
    Iowa Missing Person Information Clearinghouse
    The Doe Network
    WHO TV 13
    Iowa Cold Cases

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    Updated 3 times since October 12, 2004.

    Last updated July 1, 2015; distinguishing characteristics updated.

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