Peter John McColl

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Top Row and Bottom Three From Left: Peter, circa 1995;
Bottom Far Right: Age-progression to age 30 (circa 2009)

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Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance

  • Missing Since: August 28, 1995 from Berkeley, California
  • Classification: Endangered Missing
  • Date Of Birth: July 30, 1979
  • Age: 16 years old
  • Height and Weight: 6'0, 160 pounds
  • Distinguishing Characteristics: Caucasian male. Brown hair, blue eyes. Peter has slight scarring near the tip of his right pinky finger and he has previously fractured his left forearm/elbow. He is extremely nearsighted with 20/400 vision. He was wearing his contact lenses with him at the time of his disappearance and did not carry his eyeglasses. Peter may wear his hair tied back in a ponytail. He has heavy eyebrows and may have a mustache, beard or a goatee. Peter's nickname is Rainbow. He may have a tattoo of a skull on his upper left arm.
  • Clothing/Jewelry Description: A light gray t-shirt with "Berkeley Crew" imprinted on the front, a light gray sweatshirt with "US Rowing" imprinted on the front, size L or XL black jeans and Dr. Marten's boots.
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    Details of Disappearance

    Peter was last seen departing from his family's residence near The Alameda in Berkeley, California at approximately 11:00 a.m. on August 28, 1995. He told his brother that he planned to walk to the bus stop and take a bus to Cody's Bookstore near Salon Avenue and Telegraph Avenue. Peter never returned home and has not been heard from again. His wallet was discovered after his disappearance, but his identification cards were missing. He left $100 in cash behind in his room. He had just passed his driver's test, but hadn't gotten his license yet; it arrived in the mail a few weeks after he disappeared.

    The driver of the AC Transit bus 43, near the corner of Redwood Road and 35th Street in Berkeley, claims Peter asked him directions to Montclair, California on the day of his disappearance. He appeared to have a prearranged meeting with an unidentified teenaged boy whom the bus driver also saw. The boy was 16 to 18 years old with blond hair, well-dressed, accented speech. The boy has never been identified and the bus driver's sighting about Peter has not been confirmed. A cab driver claims he drove a young man fitting Peter's description, and a teenaged girl with red-streaked hair, to the airport to catch a Southwest Airlines flight shortly after Peter disappeared. This sighting has not been confirmed either and inquiries at the airline have not turned up any relevant information.

    It is unclear whether Peter left of his accord. He may have traveled to Oregon, Florida, Louisiana or Washington after his disappearance. Peter is a guitar player and served as a rower on his high school's crew team. He enjoyed hiking along the trails of Tilden Park and riding his mountain bike in the Berkeley Hills, and he also liked music and poetry. An extensive search of the area produced no clues as to Peter's whereabouts. He was an honors student in 1995, and disappeared only a week before the start of his junior year at Berkeley High School.

    Peter's family members said that he did not place any unusual phone calls and wasn't behaving strangely prior to his disappearance; on the contrary, he appeared to be happy with his life. It is uncharacteristic of him to leave without warning, and he was not carrying any additional clothing or money when he vanished. There were several religious groups recruiting on the campus of the University of California at Berkeley, where Peter's father was then a professor, at the time of his disappearance. Peter is described as a deep-thinking, spiritual person, and his parents looked into the possibility that he had joined one of the groups, but they could find no evidence to support this theory.

    Peter's parents now live in Poulsbo, Washington, where they run a foster care facility for troubled teens. His sister lives in Seattle, Washington and his brother lives in San Diego, California. Peter's case remains unsolved.

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    Investigating Agency
    If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
    Berkeley Police Department
    510-644-6743

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    Source Information
    The National Center For Missing and Exploited Children
    The Polly Klaas Foundation
    California Attorney General's Office
    Berkeley Boy Scout Troop 24 Home Page
    Child Protection Education Of America
    The Daily Californian
    Child CyberSearch
    The San Francisco Chronicle
    The Oakland Tribune
    NamUs

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    Updated 5 times since October 12, 2004.

    Last updated March 2, 2012; distinguishing characteristics and clothing/jewelry description updated.

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