Jesse Work

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Above: Jesse, circa 1959

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Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance

  • Missing Since: February 6, 1959 from Hemet, California
  • Classification: Endangered Missing
  • Date of Birth: September 13, 1938
  • Age: 20 years old
  • Height and Weight: 6'3, 145 pounds
  • Distinguishing Characteristics: Caucasian male. Blond hair, green eyes.
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    Details of Disappearance

    Jesse was last seen in Hemet, California late at night on February 6, 1959. He disappeared with his fifteen-year-old girlfriend, Joyce Ramsey. Jesse was an apprentice lather and Joyce was a student at Riverside High School. They were last seen when a friend dropped them off after a party. The next day, Jesse's convertible was found abandoned on a dirt road near Hemet.

    Frank Phillip Kretz Jr. later confessed to murdering the couple. The killings had been part of an eight-hour crime spree where Kretz shot at his ex-wife and missed, assaulted her roommates and stole their car, car-jacked another man's vehicle, and raped a woman after tying up her husband. Kretz was sentenced to life in prison. He was paroled in 1964, but jailed again for parole violation in January 1970.

    Kretz confessed to the murders and lead police to Joyce's body in February 1971; it was in a shallow grave in the remote Mud Hills area four miles north of Indio, California. He said Jesse's body was buried along Highway 74 between Hemet and Idlyllwild, California, but when authorities searched for it they didn't find any evidence. Kretz was convicted of first-degree murder in 1972 and died in prison in August 1996. Jesse's body has never been found, but foul play is suspected in his case due to the circumstances involved.

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    Investigating Agency
    If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
    Riverside County Sheriff's Office
    951-955-2777

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    Source Information
    NamUs
    The Long Beach Press-Telegram
    The Riverside Press-Enterprise
    The Modesto Bee

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    Updated 2 times since October 12, 2004.

    Last updated May 1, details of disappearance updated.

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