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Aaron Michael Pate, 18, of Keota, Iowa, was reported missing to the Keokuk County Sheriff’s Office in Sigourney on April 30, 1993.
According to NamUs (the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System), Pate was last seen on March 16, 1992 — just over one year before he was reported missing.
The Iowa Department of Public Safety’s Missing Person Information Clearinghouse lists Pate’s status as “Endangered / Physical.”
Aaron is described as a 6-foot white male, weighing 145-150 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes. He has moles on his back and a one-inch scar on his right wrist. He also has a pierced left ear and wears glasses.
According to a Cedar Rapids Gazette obituary dated November 28, 1999, Pate’s 21-year-old sister, Christine Celeste Kirkpatrick, died Tuesday, November 23, 1999, in Cumming after a sudden illness. An obituary for Kirkpatrick dated two days earlier stated she died of a gunshot wound.
Pate’s other relatives include his mother, Phyllis Kirkpatrick of Keota; his father, Randall Pate; a sister, Jennifer Miller of Keota; and a brother, Ian Pate of Cedar Rapids.
On November 14, 1993, the Gazette reported that Phyllis M. Kirkpatrick, 46, of Keota, was fined $325 after pleading guilty to bodily injury assault. Keota police investigated a June 19, 1993, incident that involved Kirkpatrick’s neighbor, “M.T.”
Kirkpatrick attacked M.T. after learning that he — while in a drunken state — had sexually assaulted and tried to rape her daughter, Christine. It is unknown whether M.T. ever faced charges for sexual assault, though police did file assault charges against Mrs. Kirkpatrick.
According to a NamUs report on Aaron Pate, dental information / charting is available and entered, and tests submitted for a DNA sample are complete.
On March 17, 2016, Aaron Pate’s brother, Ian Pate, addressed a number of questions raised in the comments at the bottom of this page.
He began with one simple sentence: “I wish I could make this comment sticky so it would stay at the top of the page.”
To ensure Ian’s message is conveyed to all readers, we’ve now included it here within his brother’s case summary description. Ian includes specific and important details that should not be overlooked or fall any further between the justice system’s cracks. We thank him in advance for coming forward and sharing this personal information with readers in hopes his brother’s case may one day still be solved.
Ian Pate’s March 17, 2016, message in its entirety:
I wish I could make this comment sticky so it would stay at the top of the page.
I am beyond disgust as of late at the lack of information being conveyed by the investigating departments, both local & county. Neither has returned my phone calls ‘re: questioning our father about this matter while he was in custody. I had been notified by an independent source that he was jailed locally. I notified both departments of his location, & reasons for him to be questioned. I have left messages to hear if he was spoken to, & have never been contacted back.
Re: Not being reported as missing for over 1 year.
Aaron left home with a family car that was found in the Iowa City public library parking lot & subsequently towed to impound for parking tickets. It is believed that he used the greyhound bus station a block away to leave the area, ultimately hitchhiking to Grand Canyon, AZ to see our father whom he had only met on 2 occasions.
In the days before his disappearance, Aaron was alleged to have taken a rural mail carriers vehicle from behind the post office and drove it down the Kewash Nature Trail. Law enforcement was in regular contact looking for Aaron at the time, and were made aware of his disappearance at the time. THEY choose what type of report THEY file.
Re: Aaron’s mother having a conviction for assault around the same time. This is another case of local law enforcement doing their best. Christine was sexually assaulted/attempted raped by our drunken neighbor and Phyllis attacked him after the fact with a hammer. M T is the only name I ever knew him by. Hope I just made him famous.
Re: Christine having multiple obituaries. Use your excellent detective skills elsewhere.
~ Ian Pate, Iowa Cold Cases page on Aaron Pate, March 17, 2016
If you have any information regarding Aaron Pate’s unsolved disappearance, please contact the Missing Person Information Clearinghouse / Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation at 1-800-346-5507 or the Keokuk County Sheriff’s Office at 641-622-2727.