Aaron PateAaron Michael Pate (Courtesy photo NamUs)

Aaron Michael Pate

Missing Person

NAME: Aaron Michael Pate
AGE LAST SEEN ALIVE: 17
AGE AT REPORT: 18
DOB: March 4, 1975
WEIGHT: 145 – 150 lbs.
HEIGHT: 6’00” – 6’02”
RACE: White
HAIR: Brown
EYES: Brown
INCIDENT TYPE: Endangered / physical
MISSING FROM: Keota / Sigourney, IA
Keokuk County
CASE # 02-099622
NamUs MP#: 6499
NCMEC #: 772107
MISSING SINCE: March 16, 1992

 
Aaron Michael Pate, 18, of Keota, Iowa, was reported missing to the Keokuk County Sheriff’s Office in Sigourney on April 30, 1993.

Keokuk County in Iowa
Keokuk County in Iowa
 
Keota in Keokuk CountyKeota in Keokuk County

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.

Aaron Pate age-progressed to 39 (Courtesy MCMEC)

Aaron Pate age-progressed to 39 years (Courtesy NCMEC)

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.

A message from Aaron’s brother, Ian

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

Information Needed

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.

Sources:

60 Responses to Aaron Pate

  1. andrea says:

    I saw this myspace page:

    In it, Aaron’s sister states: “I made this profile for the soul purpose of trying to find my brother, Aaron Michael Pate, born March 3rd, 1975, left Keota April 30th, 1993. Aaron- Perhaps one day you’ll do a google search on your name and find this. I’m on my own now, completely disconnected from our mother.”

    Sounds to me like Aaron’s mother was probably a toxic person. Toxic people score high on Hare’s psychopathy checklist. Has his mother been looked at as a suspect?

    • Can’t believe i came across this! That woman called “mom” was a highly disturbed sick individual!! I grew up in same town and have always thought that lady belonged in a mental institution!! Not to mention i knew the family.

    • Diana says:

      This sister must be Jennifer Miller?

      Does anyone know if family members are still living? Have they been contacted? I’m with Andrea on this one – talk with the family and see what the family dynamics were when he disappeared. Of course, he was of age to leave home if he chose. Has the family heard from him at all over the years?

      This case does not appear to have been investigated in depth and if it has perhaps the updates are just not on this site? Sometimes a case just stands out to you and this one has grabbed my attention for various reasons.

  2. andrea says:

    Also, an obituary for his sister back in 1999 says he lived in Illinois. It was published November 28, 1999, in The Gazette (Cedar Rapids-Iowa City), on page 4:

    “Christine Celeste Kirkpatrick,21, died Tuesday, Nov. 23, 1999, in Cumming following a sudden illness. Services: 1 p.m. Wednesday, Powell Funeral Home, Wellman, by the Rev. Larry Brown. Burial: Wellman Mennonite Cemetery. Friends may call after 10 a.m. Wednesday at the funeral home.

    “Survivors include her mother, Phyllis Kirkpatrick of Keota; a sister, Jennifer Miller of Keota; and two brothers, Ian Pate of Cedar Rapids and Aaron Pate of Illinois.”

  3. Ian Pate says:

    The number one person who should be questioned regarding Aaron is our father, Randall Pate. His statement would answer a lot of questions.

    • Diana says:

      Ian, are your parents still living? Keota shows an address for your mother. I live near the area and would consider brainstorming with others the disappearance of your brother.

  4. andrea says:

    Hi there,

    Could you please delete my above postings? I don’t want to offend the family . Thanks.

  5. Josie says:

    Andrea, you are just now worrying about offending the family a year and a half after you first posted? Maybe you should think of things like that before you fire off multiple entries.

  6. Jody Ewing says:

    I’ve asked Andrea to reconsider her request to have her comments deleted, because even though she asked some tough questions, they are still important questions that needed asking. And though I’ve since found a photo for Aaron (courtesy of the NamUs website), her question about a photo cannot be emphasized enough.

    Right now, as of April 29, 2013, there are 341 individuals listed as “missing” on the Iowa Dept. of Public Safety’s Missing Person Information Clearinghouse website. Of those 341, only 71 have photos — roughly 20% of all reported missing persons — simply because the respective law enforcement agencies have not been provided photos they can pass along to the dedicated workers at the MPIC.

    When a loved one goes missing, his or her general welfare is such a concern that many family members don’t think to bring along a photo when filing a missing persons report. That is quite understandable. Still, photos “can” be provided to LE officials after reports are already filed, and those agencies in turn will pass along the photo to the MPIC where it’s added almost immediately. (They add and delete cases and make updates on a daily basis as the info is provided to them.)

    Whether it’s a missing son, daughter, brother, sister, or whomever, photos (the more recent, the better) of missing persons are critical to any case. How does one “spot” a reported missing person if one doesn’t know what he/she looks like? (That is, outside the community where the MP might be known and recognized.)

    Photos may be provided to LE or the MPIC by anyone; you needn’t be the one who filed the missing persons report. If you know of a classmate or co-worker or anyone else who’s gone missing and happen to have a photo, please make it available to your local police department/sheriff’s office. Whether you deliver it in person or scan and send via e-mail, it could make a huge difference in a case and perhaps even save someone’s life.

    Here at Iowa Cold Cases, we’ve got some case summaries where the victim’s photo is “really” bad — meaning it’s likely an old black and white scanned from archived newspaper articles. But, we believe any photo is better than no photo at all. (And if you have a better image than what we’re using, please feel free to send us the cleaner/sharper image, and we’ll make sure you get credit for providing it to us.)

    As always, we thank our readers for taking time to comment on this case, and ask that comments remain civil and focused on the case(s) law enforcement officials are still trying to solve.

  7. Shannon says:

    Has Lyle Stevik been ruled out? Google his story- he’s a man that commited suicide under a fake name in a motel in Washington state. He’s never been identified. Stats match, same height etc.

    • jgreiner2003 says:

      Aaron didn’t seem like the type of guy to venture far from his home. Quiet, yet friendly. This is a small community, and traveling far doesn’t seem like something he’d do.

    • Diana says:

      Because cross references dental records (Pate and Stevik both have records entered) it’s likely they’ve been ruled out. Also Stevik is listed as Native/Hispanic origin and Pate is white.

  8. anonymous says:

    Why did this take a year to be reported? Did the father give a statement?

    • Diana says:

      Those are both great questions.

      • Diana says:

        And if you are truly looking for an answer, then you’d likely have to contact the Keokuk County Sheriff’s office to find out. If those facts were available, I’m assuming they would be posted already or that there is a reason they have not been? Looks like this one has been cold for a while.

  9. Diana says:

    I contacted local law enforcement and was able to obtain the following information.

    Aaron was a relatively quiet youth, not one to be in trouble. There is evidence however suggesting he stole a vehicle which was later found on the Kewash Nature Trail. The vehicle was located, but Aaron was not. He was reported as a runaway near this time and law enforcement spent time looking for Aaron. Because he was not found he was then later officially entered as missing. These circumstances lead to the lapse in time. The Sheriff at the time was Ron George. Doug Conrad, another officer who worked the case, still remembers Aaron’s disappearance.

    Lastly, it’s important to point out that law enforcement was helpful and ready to entertain my thoughts and concerns regarding this case.

    • Ian Pate says:

      Diana, I am curious if you are associated with any other government agency, as in this one contact with those departments, you were given an incredible amount of information from an agency that has been unwilling to return a phone call to me, a direct family member.
      Regardless, thank you for your accurate and respectful comments.

      • Diana says:

        Ian,
        No, I am not associated with a government agency, however, I am a freelance writer who has deep interest in bringing truth to this case. Months ago I called several times to speak with you, but you did not wish to speak with me. I have spoken with law enforcement in as much depth as possible regarding this case and they have helped me as much as possible. Because it is considered “open or active” they are not able to give me the file, but have answered my questions. It was, is, my intent to write an article regarding Aaron’s disappearance and be the “squeaky wheel” so to speak. Many people have asked me why I am interested in this case. Perhaps I’m old fashioned, but I’ve lost a brother, understand the pain and I believe in peace and justice. If you are ready to talk, you can post here and I will contact you.

  10. jg says:

    If Aaron is alive and well, he obviously doesn’t want to be found. His childhood may have damaged him to the point that he’d rather live a new life under a different identity. I’d say let it rest and just hope he’s ok.

  11. Diana says:

    Unfortunately, we don’t live in a world where we can “let is rest and just hope he’s o.k.” If this was your brother, son, uncle, friend, could you really do that?

    I’d say, let’s bring as much attention to the story as possible and not leave any stone unturned.

  12. Ian Pate says:

    Just found this post. Our father, Randal Clyde Pate, believed to be the last to see Aaron, has never been questioned about their last encounter, as he has been unable to be located. He is currently awaiting trial in the Fayette county jail on unrelated charges. Hopefully he will be questioned about Aaron also.

  13. Family didnt report him for a year … Ummmmm id start there

  14. So was his sisters killer found ?

  15. Something is not right with this story !

  16. Ian Pate says:

    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.

    • Jody Ewing says:

      Ian, I have incorporated your comment above directly into Aaron’s case summary so readers will see what you have to say before they ever reach the comment section. Please let me know if there’s anything else you’d like me to include or change on your brother’s page.

      My heart goes out to you and I hope one day you see justice served in your brother’s unsolved disappearance, which almost certainly involved foul play.

  17. Who or how was his sister shot and killed?

    • Ian Pate says:

      Christine’s death was a completely separate matter at the home of her boyfriend in Cumming, IA more than 6 years later. I encourage everyone to research Larry Harper and the women whose lives he has destroyed. Make him infamous, but not on a page about Aaron.

      • Ian Pate says:

        Just as a clarification, Larry Dean Harper, DOB 11-18-?? (’51?- certain on day & month). It was his home she died in.

        • Jody Ewing says:

          Ian, was Larry Harper ever charged in your sister’s death? If not, and if she died under suspicious circumstances, she should be listed here on the ICC site, whereas (of course) her page would be her own and separate from Aaron’s since they were two very different crimes that occurred years apart. Thanks in advance.

      • Connie says:

        Ian, have you spoken to your father in regards to Aaron?

  18. andrea says:

    Hi Jody, could you please delete my posting above, regarding Aaron’s sister.

    I, too, am appalled that law enforcement did not question Randall Pate when he was in custody.

    • P.M. says:

      Why do you keep asking for postings to be deleted? They were from years ago. Just curious.

      • Jody Ewing says:

        P.M., I think all of us share the ‘hindsight’ factor and find ourselves wishing we hadn’t posted a particular comment, especially if we learn more about the case as comments progress and realize one we posted some time back may cause confusion or lead a discussion astray. (Anyone who’s ever made a Facebook post and deleted it later can understand.)

        On sites like this, only the moderator can delete comments, and I try to respect everyone’s wishes if they want to retract a comment. The only time [that deleting the comment] might not be appropriate is if it led to a long discussion where other people replied and offered feedback that may be seen as important in keeping on the site. (Once a comment is deleted, all replies to it are also deleted.) I’d have to go back through the comments to see if I deleted the ones (just two, I believe) that Andrea referenced (I think I did), and in hindsight I should have deleted her requests for the deletions once they were deleted.

        It’s okay. We’re all just having a conversation here and looking for answers. If deleting a comment helped keep the discussion focused, that’s all right by me. :-)

  19. Ian says:

    An update, the first new information in 24 years about Aaron’s disappearance.
    I have made contact with Randy Pate and he did verify that Aaron did visit him in Arizona several months after leaving Iowa. While it doesn’t answer where he is now, this serves as verification that he was at the Grand Canyon area in ’92/’93. Randy also stated that Aaron left with intentions of meeting a girl in Boulder, CO. He also seemed surprised to hear that Aaron has been missing.
    I am going to meet with Randy in person in the coming weeks. Hopefully more insight into Aaron’s case.

  20. Jo says:

    Today my cousin got a box and thought she had ordered extra stuff when she opened it there was a satanic book and more missing papers and a necklace of Satan in the book there where pictures of him his sister and brother but most shocking a drawn picture of a supernatural force holding and killing him it is most strange the person who sent this knew her address and now we are freaked out

    • Jody Ewing says:

      Jo, I strongly suggest you immediately contact Keokuk County Sheriff Casey Hinnah (641-622-2727 or email kcsheriff@keokukcountyia.com) and see if the sheriff’s office or the DCI can extract any fingerprints or touch DNA from the box, the book, or any of the other items and papers. This should be done asap in order to preserve the evidentiary value of anything they might be able to recover. DCI Special Agent in Charge Rick Rahn oversees that region. He may be reached at (563) 284-9506 or rahn@dps.state.ia.us.

    • Ian Pate says:

      Are you commenting on the correct person? Do you still have this box and are you able to forward any information? Unfortunately your info is all too nondescript and smells of a possible scam. Please search me on FB if you have anything concerning my brother.

  21. KJ says:

    I would really, really like to know who “MT” is in this article. If anyone knows, please respond.

    We bought a foreclosure a year ago in Keota, knew nothing about the town, etc. and had a stalker within the first couple months of living here. Having never lived in such a small community, I innocently posted an ad in the local library with a photo of my child and I (from behind) walking in an apple orchard, name, and contact information seeking childcare. Within a week we had some sicko pervert pedophile contacting me via a blocked number, saying disgusting things about what he was going to do to me when he “catches me” and that he watches my child play in our back yard. I reported it to the local police, they subpoenaed the harassers number via my cell company but they refuse to give it to me! All he tells me is he “isn’t local” which actually makes me think he IS local and is being protected.

    After reading this article, I am definitely not surprised and it makes me even more uncomfortable living in this town :( I do not even go outdoors alone at night because we do not know who this person is. Nor do we really know many people, in general.

    For a town recognized as “the most extroverted town in the US” via Wikipedia, it couldn’t be farther from the truth.

    • Jeri Klein says:

      KJ,
      So sorry to hear about your experience in my beloved town.
      I would suspect that you’ve experienced some crappy luck.
      We are very friendly.
      We’ve had things happen but from my observation, every town does.
      The town is presently investigating building a day care. Might suggest you go to a council meeting and inquire about volunteering for the committee.
      Also, look up the Facebook group, Moms United in SE Iowa. Its geared towards moms networking and is run by a great local gal.

      • KJ says:

        I’ve actually been discouraged from attending a school board meeting when I inquired about the dates.
        Maybe I am “making too many waves” here? I tried to start a girl scout troupe, to no avail. I am unnaturally outspoken here, which is strange b/c I am an introvert but I just feel like more should be done that isn’t being done.That being said, I don’t know much about living in small town, rural Iowa.
        I know there are some really good people here (our neighbor is like family, sweetest person I’ve ever met reminds me of my grandmother) but everyone here is related so it’s hard to acclimate to the environment. I’ve never lived in such a small community. I was hoping it would be more like I had envisioned small towns to be.
        Please don’t be offended. I am ignorant in regard to rural Iowa.I guess just imagined outgoing, friendly neighbors, and block parties like I experienced in AZ.
        And we acquired a stalker within the first few months of living here. That doesn’t exactly make me feel comfortable here.
        I was told this pervert in the article referred to as “MT” is now deceased so he cannot be our stalker, which is more unsettling b/c it’s hard not knowing who this person is. There is something so terrifying about someone calling you, by name, and telling you that they watch your child play and basically want to brutally rape you. I clearly never should have put up that sign in the library. Whether he was just doing it to scare me or not, somebody doesn’t want us here.
        Thanks for the info on a “moms group” I will have to check it out.

        • JMK says:

          School board meetings are generally open to the public. Minutes and agenda are posted in The Keota Eagle.
          Might want to get associated with one of the local churches.
          Report this stalker to Doug Conrad.
          Volunteer in her child’s classroom. I know it’s the end of the year but you might be able to still get in.
          It must be very difficult to move to a small community when you’re not from the area.
          Go ahead a message the administrator for the Moms from SE Iowa. I know that she would be delighted to hear from you.

          • KJ says:

            I understand it’s open to the public but I was discouraged from coming.
            And I did report the stalker to the local police officer to no avail.
            It’s fine. I am pretty sure we are selling and moving out of area.
            I’ve seen enough.

            • JMK says:

              I’m sorry that you’re leaving.
              Keota is a really nice town.
              Sounds like you might have gotten off on the wrong foot.
              Good luck.

            • KJ says:

              Yeah well, I don’t think I am the problem but thanks for reiterating why I am leaving :)

            • Anna says:

              KJ, I doubt you will look at this, since it has been a month since you posted. I actually agree 100% about this town. It is probably “beloved” if you have the right name in town. A friend of mine moved here and her daughter was assaulted (high schooler). It was he said/she said and the he was from a well connected family in town, Well, you can imagine how that ended. They ended up moving after 3 years. It was so hush hush, that probably no one knows that this happened. You won’t find block parties in Keota.

  22. Anna says:

    Why wouldn’t the local or state question the father (the last person to see him)? Seems they really bungled this case. I wonder if Ian was able to contact his father. I hope Ian is okay. Ian, please give us an update.

    • KJ says:

      I get emails regarding updates. Yeah, we’re definitely finding that the locals do not want us here.
      From two large male vigilantes coming into our back yard to bitch about something we later learned waany illegal (burning sticks) to a couple two houses down doing the same thing (complaining about us shooting off parachute fireworks for our child) again, later learned it’s not illegal in town.
      Apparently, it’s just illegal for us to do it.
      Then during ragbrai that same couple refused to walk on the sidewalk in our front yard. I guess they would rather walk in the wet grass 🤷🏼‍♀️ When I told them they could walk on the sidewalk they both just scowled at us. This is THE most unfriendly place I’ve ever lived.
      And whenever I do try to talk to the locals they ask where we live and apparently there is a whole story about the couple that used to live here.
      It’s like, all they have to do is talk shit about everyone 🤦‍♀️
      And they all did their rude, uncalled for bullshit in the presence of our child. Do they have no conscience, social skills, filter, etc etc? 🙄
      They’re not all bad…
      Our neighbor is like our family. She’s so sweet, classy, and educated and doesn’t fit in-kind of like us.
      i mean, our daughter isn’t even going to the Keota school this year. We’ve opted to drive her to Kalona every day instead.
      We’re outcasts here and we’re both fed up.
      We didn’t pay much for the house so we won’t be out much if we sell at a loss.
      Sorry, these people are too weird for me.
      We’re getting out of here!! 🙂

      • Debra says:

        I lived in Cresco, Iowa and was made to feel like we were unwelcome. Nobody but our neighbors across the road welcomed us. I hated living there and when we moved to my hometown in SD, I swore I would say hello to any stranger. People who were to do remodeling for us ripped us off and refused to take my calls regarding getting any money back. So Iowa left a bad taste in my memories.

  23. Patrick Kerrigan says:

    I find it interesting that a number of communities in Iowa, are so anti-social in regards to people who move into the area. But, then there are those people who alllow their family members get away with murder. This seems to have popped up in another cold case posted on this website. I guess this is tolerated in Iowa, even up to the state government.

    But, then here in Illinois, we have elected officials put their family members in government jobs. It appears they could not handle working in the private sector, like real people. I actually worked for the federal government for a number of years, but left after having to deal with incompetent leaders.

    I missed the work, but the leadership tolerated the incompetent people. But, then the leaders don’t know the process of leadership, and how to properly deal with these people. I just easy to move them around then get rid of them.

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