Eugene Wade Martin

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3 AP
Top Row and Bottom Left: Eugene, circa 1984;
Bottom Right: Age-progression to age 39 (circa 2009)


Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance

  • Missing Since: August 12, 1984 from Des Moines, Iowa
  • Classification: Non-Family Abduction
  • Date Of Birth: August 17, 1970
  • Age: 13 years old
  • Height and Weight: 5'0, 110 pounds
  • Distinguishing Characteristics: Caucasian male. Brown hair, brown eyes. Eugene has a scar on his right knee. One of his wrists has a healed fracture. His nickname is Gene.
  • Clothing/Jewelry Description: A gray and white striped midriff t-shirt with red sleeves, blue jeans and blue Trax sneakers with white diagonal stripes.
  • Bar

    Details of Disappearance

    Eugene was last seen between 5:30 and 6:00 a.m. on August 12, 1984 in his hometown of Des Moines, Iowa. He was preparing to start delivering his morning newspaper route at the time. He normally delivered the papers with his older stepbrother, but his stepbrother was not with him that day. Witnesses saw Eugene talking to a man between 5:00 and 5:15 a.m. at southwest 12th Street and Highview Drive. The man is described as clean-cut, and he appeared to be in his thirties. He has never been identified. They were reportedly engaged in friendly conversation.

    Eugene's route manager called his family at approximately 7:15 a.m. to report that Eugene's newspaper sack had not been retrieved from the corner of southwest 14th and Highview Streets. The manager called the family back 15 minutes later around 7:30 a.m. and reported that the papers were still unclaimed. Eugene's father then called the authorities. Eugene has not been seen nor heard from again.

    Eugene disappeared from the same vicinity where John Gosch was last seen in 1982. It is not known if the two cases are related, but both boys were newspaper carriers in the Des Moines area. Eugene enjoyed football, fishing, skating, watching television and playing video games at the time of his disappearance. His father and stepmother divorced sometime after he went missing, and now both of his parents are deceased. His case remains unsolved.


    Investigating Agency
    If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
    Des Moines Police Department


    Source Information
    The National Center For Missing and Exploited Children
    Child Protection Education Of America
    The Des Moines Register
    Iowa Cold Cases


    Updated 7 times since October 12, 2004.

    Last updated December 16, 2013; picture added.

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