Joseph Andrew Spisak
Joseph, approximately 1974; Age at the time of disappearance: -progression to Age at the time of disappearance: 56 (approximately 2018)
Date reported missing : 01/27/1974
Missing location (approx) :
Missing classification : Endangered Missing
Gender : Male
DOB : 07/21/1962 (59)
Age at the time of disappearance: 11 years old
Height / Weight : 4'0, 65 pounds
Description, clothing, jewerly and more : A tan trench coat over a brown hooded corduroy jacket, and green rubber hunting boots with yellow tops.
Distinguishing characteristics, birthmarks, tattoos : Caucasian male. Brown hair, brown eyes. Joseph wears eyeglasses. He previously broke his arm at Age at the time of disappearance: five.
Information on the case from local sources, may or may not be correct : Joseph was last seen in Hammond, Indiana on January 27, 1974. That morning he went on his paper route, delivered all his copies of the Hammond Times, and left the newspaper bag on his front porch. His usual routine after that would have been to attend mass at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church, a few blocks from his home in the 7000 block of McCook Avenue.
Joseph never arrived home for lunch, and his parents called one of his friends to ask where he was. The friend said he'd seen him playing on the grounds of Morton School. It was a household rule that everyone had to be present for dinner at 5:00 p.m., but Joseph didn't arrive home for that either, and his parents became concerned and called the police.
Witnesses reported seeing him walking near the Catholic Cemetery on Kennedy Avenue by the Norfolk and Western Railroad tracks at 5:00. Others thought they saw Joseph walking southeast near the Hessville Cemetery at 169th and Arizona. The railroad sent an inspection car along the tracks, but found nothing amiss. An extensive search turned up no sign of Joseph anywhere.
The Spisak family never believed Joseph ran away; he hadn't mentioned any runaway plans to anyone, and he left all his belongings behind, including his clothing, his second pair of glasses, his Matchbox cars, his baseball mitt and his prized baseball card collection. Authorities think it's possible that he was abducted, but the circumstances of his disappearance are unclear.
Other information and links : ncy
Hammond Police Department
September 2021 updates and sources
Indiana Missing Persons Bulletin
The Northwest Indiana Times
Locating the Missing
A missing person is a person who has disappeared and whose status as alive or dead cannot be confirmed as their location and condition are not known. A person may go missing through a voluntary disappearance, or else due to an accident, crime, death in a location where they cannot be found (such as at sea), or many other reasons. In most parts of the world, a missing person will usually be found quickly. While criminal abductions are some of the most widely reported missing person cases, these account for only 2–5% of missing children in Europe. By contrast, some missing person cases remain unresolved for many years. Laws related to these cases are often complex since, in many jurisdictions, relatives and third parties may not deal with a person's assets until their death is considered proven by law and a formal death certificate issued. The situation, uncertainties, and lack of closure or a funeral resulting when a person goes missing may be extremely painful with long-lasting effects on family and friends. Several organizations seek to connect, share best practices, and disseminate information and imAge at the time of disappearance: s of missing children to improve the effectiveness of missing children investigations, including the International Commission on Missing Persons, the International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children (ICMEC), as well as national organizations, including the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children in the US, Missing People in the UK, Child Focus in Belgium, and The Smile of the Child in Greece.
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
October 12, 2004. May 16, 2019; Age at the time of disappearance: -progression added.