Justin Lee Richardson

Justin Lee Richardson

Missing boy may have been partying with meth

State: AZ
Location: The Kaibab National Forest
Date Missing: 07-02-2001
DOB: 06-06-1988
Age: 13
Current Status: Unsolved

Justin was last seen in Kaibab National Forest in Arizona on June 29, 2001. He and some older friends had gone into to an area a few miles south of Grand Canyon National Park and five miles west of Moqui Lodge. Authorities believe he had been partying and was under the influence of drugs, possibly methamphetamine.

Justin and his three friends got separated, and two of them got lost. Justin and another friend went to Tusayan, Arizona and asked another friend to help look for the missing pair. In the meantime, the two missing ones were located by Grand Canyon Railway employees, but Justin didn’t know this. Justin and another of his friends returned to the Kaibab National Forest, at a spot five miles from Tusayan and fifteen miles from where their friends had been found some time earlier. His companion went to sleep at 9:00 a.m. When he woke up at 5:00 p.m., Justin was gone. He has never been heard from again. His father reported him missing on July 1. An extensive search of the area turned up no sign of him.

Justin had been to the area four times before he disappeared, and was familiar with it; he’d never gotten lost before. Authorities aren’t sure whether he did in fact lose track of his surroundings. He had run away from home once before, and it’s possible he tried to do so again and was picked up hitchhiking by a passing motorist. If he did leave of his own accord, he may have tried to go to Chicago, Illinois to see his girlfriend. Justin lived with his father in Tusayan at the time of his disappearance, and is described a popular teen with many friends. Investigators believe he’d been abusing drugs and alcohol for about a year prior to going missing. His case remains unsolved and foul play is suspected.

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