Eugene Martin

Eugene Martin (Courtesy Iowa Department of Public Safety)

Eugene Wade Martin

Missing Person

Name: Eugene Wade Martin
Age at Report: 13 YOA
DOB: August 17, 1970
Missing From: Des Moines, IA
Polk County
Investigating Agency: Des Moines Police Department
Hair Color: Brown
Eye Color: Brown
Weight: 110 lbs.
Height: 5’00”
Case Number: 8430464
NCIC Number: M-129642239
NCMEC Number: NCMC601815
NamUs MP # 6348
Incident Type: Involuntary Disappearance
Missing Since: August 12, 1984


Case summary compiled by Jody Ewing

On Sunday morning, August 12, 1984, 13-year-old Eugene Martin left his home at approximately 5 a.m. to deliver the Des Moines Register newspaper in the Des Moines area. He wore blue jeans, a red shirt and a gray pullover.

Eugene normally delivered the papers with his older stepbrother, but on this day went alone. The Iowa State Fair was in town, and Eugene — who in his free time enjoyed football, fishing, skating, video games and TV — wanted to make some extra money.

Witnesses said they saw Martin talking to a clean-cut white male in his 30s sometime between 5 and 5:45 a.m. at Southwest 12th Street and Highview Drive. Some stated the two appeared to be engaged in a friendly “father-son” sort of conversation, and others recalled seeing the teen folding papers and talking to the man sometime between 5:45 and 6:05 a.m.

Johnny Gosch and Eugene Martin reward posterCourtesy Des Moines Register
A poster announcing a $94,000 reward for information about Johnny Gosch or Eugene Martin, including $25,000 offered by the Des Moines Register, did nothing to solve either boys’ case. Download in PDF format

Between 6:10 and 6:15 a.m., Eugene’s bag was found on the ground outside of Des Moines with 10 folded papers still inside. When customers called to report not receiving their morning newspapers, the manager went out, found the bag and delivered the papers.

At approximately 8:40 a.m., the search for Eugene began. He has not been seen since.

Suspect Likely ‘Loner’

Federal agents said at the time there might be a “definite connection” to the disappearance of another Des Moines paper carrier — 12-year-old Johnny Gosch, who disappeared two years earlier on September 5, 1982 — and described the suspect as a “loner.”

Authorities said they were treating the Martin case as a kidnapping and had issued a nationwide bulletin for a man described as between 30 and 40 years old, 5 feet, 9 inches tall, clean shaven and with a medium build.

“Generally, the person is an introvert, a loner who may or may not be extra guilt-ridden on what he does but will not turn himself in,” said Herb Hawkins, special F.B.I. agent in charge of the Nebraska-Iowa field office in August 1994. Hawkins said some useful information was being gleaned from witnesses.

None of it panned out, however, and neither boy has ever been found.

“… when he left”

In a July 2010 interview with WHO-TV Channel 13’s Aaron Brilbeck in Des Moines, Eugene’s aunt, Jeannie McDowell, said she believes the cases are connected, though shudders to think of what the teens may have gone through. McDowell also said she does not think Eugene is still alive.

Jeannie McDowell Courtesy photo WHO-TV Channel 13, Des Moines
Eugene Martin’s aunt, Jeannie McDowell, spoke with Channel 13’s Aaron Brilbeck in July 2010 about her nephew and the toll his disappearance took on the family.

“I hope that he died instantly. I hope he didn’t suffer much,” she told Brilbeck in the second of five cold case installments WHO-TV aired throughout the month.

After losing his youngest son, McDowell said her brother, Don Martin, became withdrawn and spent all his time trying to find out what happened to his boy.

“Eugene was the baby,” McDowell said. “And when he left, it just killed my brother.”

McDowell said her brother went into his own little shell and didn’t want to speak to anybody. Still, day after day, he would read every paper and cut out clippings of anything that had to do with Gene.

donald-martin-kcrgCourtesy photo
NOTE: Eugene Martin’s father, Donald Martin, passed away on Dec. 27, 2010, due to complications from Alzheimer’s Disease and colon cancer. Donald Martin served in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War from 1963 to 1966. He earned the Good Conduct Medal, Expert M-1 Rifle Medal, Sharp Shooter M14 Medal, along with the Vietnam Service Medal.

As he approached his 65th birthday in October 2010, Don Martin struggled with the cancer slowly eating away at his body as well as the final stages of Alzheimer’s Disease.

Eugene’s mother, Janice, had recently died from diabetes without ever knowing what happened to her son.

Despite the amount of pain he endured, McDowell believed her brother continued to hang on because of Gene. He needed some type of closure so he could go, she said. If he knew Gene was there “waiting for him,” he’d be able to let go and die in peace.

Five months after the WHO-TV interview, Donald Martin succumbed to complications from colon cancer and Alzheimer’s Disease, and passed away on December 27, 2010.

At one time, a $94,000 reward was offered — including $25,000 by the Des Moines Register — for information leading to the recovery of either Johnny Gosch or Eugene Martin. It, too, eventually went by the wayside as weeks turned to months, and then years with no viable leads.

“It’s the case I’ll take to the grave.”

James Rowley, the retired Des Moines police detective who worked the Martin case until his retirement in 2001, also recognized the similarities in the two cases but still has questions about how they are linked.

James RowleyCourtesy photo WHO-TV Channel 13, Des Moines
Retired Des Moines police detective James Rowley worked the Eugene Martin case until his retirement in 2001, and has never given up on finding out what happened to the teen.

“Why the two-year gap?” he stated in an August 12, 2009 interview with the Des Moines Register. That just wasn’t how it normally worked with serial killers and kidnappers. A criminal’s “growing appetite” for crime, he told the Register, doesn’t allow for lengthy holding patterns.

“Where was he before ’82?” Rowley asked. “Where was he between ’82 and ’84, and where was he after ’84?”

Another young Des Moines teen — 13-year-old Marc James Warren Allen — did in fact disappear from Des Moines in 1986. On March 29, 1986, Allen told his mother he planned to walk to a friend’s house down the street, but then just vanished.

Rowley told the Register he has heard all the theories, conspiracy and otherwise, but that none made sense. He’d even traveled to Mexico and Canada to follow up on tips — chasing down somewhere between 2,000 and 3,000 leads during the investigation — but found not one credible.

WHO-TV’s Aaron Brilbeck reports on the 1984 disappearance of missing Des Moines paperboy Eugene Martin. Air Date: July 8, 2010

Rowley, who worked more than 200 homicides and 50 bank robberies during his tenure as a police officer — helping to solve 80 percent of them — believes the clean-cut man near Martin’s home talked Eugene into leaving his route.

Rowley said Eugene Martin’s case bothers him more than any others he’s worked. In his home garage hangs a poster of Eugene to remind him every day.

Eugene Martin age progressed Courtesy photo National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
An age-progressed composite of how Eugene might look today.

“This case haunts me,” he told WHO-TV’s Brilbeck when interviewed for the July cold case series. “It’s the case I’ll take to the grave.”

After nearly 30 years, the former detective still seems amazed they’d never had a solid lead in Eugene’s case. No bone. No fragment. No evidence.

Rowley said he takes the case personally and will leave Eugene’s poster up in his garage until Gene is found or the case is solved.

In a KCCI Channel 8 report that aired Aug. 1, 2014, Des Moines Police Department spokesman Sgt. Scott Raudabaugh said older cold cases are looked at on a yearly basis, and the department has a select group of officers who specifically look at very old cases.

“Certainly the serious cases are extremely important to Des Moines Police Department,” Raudabaugh said, adding that police will examine old pieces of evidence from cold cases with new technology like DNA testing.

“Everything that could be done was done to take advantage of technology that exists now that didn’t exist maybe 10, 15, 20 years ago,” he told KCCI. “If in any way we can develop a suspect and follow up on that we certainly do.”

About Eugene

Eugene Wade Martin was born August 17, 1970. He has a scar on his right knee and has had a broken right wrist.

Information Needed

Anyone with information about Eugene Martin is asked to call Det. Jeff Shannon at the Des Moines Police Department at (515) 283-4864. You may also call Det. Larry Penland at (515) 237-1550.

Sources and References:


Copyright © 2024  Iowa Cold Cases, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


97 Responses to Eugene Martin

  1. Hornet says:

    In the same general time frame, there were some paper boys that were molested in Edina, Minnesota by a guy named Charles Walter Bathel. He got caught, went away for couple of years, got out and met a man in a bar and murdered him during rough sex. He actually showed up at the police station with the body in the car, saying he’d found him on the side of highway 100. He JUST got out in the last couple of years. Paperboys and Edina is a couple of hours right up 35.

  2. YODA says:

    I made a comment, and checked spelling twice, yet comment appears with spelling errors! GRRRR!

  3. YODA says:

    Common denominators; The boys were paper boys, they all were abducted
    In the Des Moines area, they were all the same age group,. Look for what is there that belongs there,Molokai for what belongs there but is missing, look for what is there tha should not be, and ask who stands to gain from the actions taken. Ask who was in the area, and left the area after the crime/s.
    Ask who acts “that way” and check if they bought handcuffs, rope, condoms

    • Anji says:

      Maybe the 2 year gap was because the perp was incarcerated or assigned to work out of the area.

      • Tri State Girl says:

        Here’s my theories:

        -Maybe a lot of kids were sexually attacked, but only a few were killed. Millhouse had other victims, as did other pedophiles from the Des Moines Register, like Frank Sykora and his older brother. Those kids weren’t killed. Other pedophiles in that area had victims who weren’t killed.

        -Maybe the sicko that did this gave a sick treat to themselves, and killed a kid every few years on a holiday.

        -Maybe there were attempts that we don’t know about. After the last boy, Marc, went missing the kidnappings stopped. This conveniently happened after Millhouse was arrested. There were also other pedophiles in Des Moines busted around that time. However, there were kidnapping attempts until 1989. Then it all stops. I don’t know what happens in 1989 that finally ends it all.

        -Maybe the kidnapper moved around to different states and towns. To avoid being caught.

  4. John says:

    I’m sure this has been brought up over the years, but has Brown’s Woods or Racoon River woods ever been checked thoroughly? Seems like a good place to dump a body. Browns woods is basically a middle point with easy access from where Eugene went missing, with conjunction to where Johnny went missing in WDM. Browns especially. It couldn’t be more in the middle of the two areas the kids went missing. Did any of the suspects frequent those areas for any reason?

  5. h says:

    There is a guy online that looks so much like Eugene’s age transgression photo. His name is Troy Lund and he happens to be an actor/director, etc. He has the same eyes and facial features. There is not much info on his past. Could this be Eugene?

    • Tri State Girl says:

      No. Johnny, Eugene, and Marc were probably abducted and killed by either someone from the Des Moines Register, one of the men from the Des Moines pedophile ring that was busted in the 80’s, or another local pedophile who was never caught. I’m not from the area at all, but the case has pulled at my heartstrings. It’s unfortunate that obvious suspects were allowed near children. I don’t like when people push ideas that honestly don’t make any sense. Johnny’s case has had the worst of it, but the other two cases suffered as well. Not to mention the attempted abductions from 1986 to 1989. Someone local clearly took the kids.

    • Denielle Kelly says:

      Absolutely it could be him.

  6. Denielle Kelly says:

    This story was an episode on The Swords and Scales Podcast. The story has always haunted my heart and head. Child Sex Trafficking is REAL and PROTECTED by the detail oriented system that runs this WORLD WIDE OPERATION. Usually involving and operated by people with power, money and fetishes. While being protected by fellow members in all areas applying to life. Ex: Police officers, Teachers, Lawyers, Government Employees, Child Protection Services, Hospitals, Doctors , Nurses, Dentist, Daycares, Nurse Practitioners, Non Profit Groups, Coaches, Truck Drivers, Domestic Violence Protection Shelters, Actors, Singers, Pilots, Captains, Army, Politicians and many other positions that are automatically respected and trusted by us Americans because that’s what we where raised to believe and never doubt. In this episode Eugenes mother repeatedly states that the detective and police officer’s didn’t make her feel heard, respected, taken seriously and was being questioned more then being answered. So much that she hired a Private Investigator. She continued her own hunt for answers even when she was continually shut down or even mocked by her possible theories, fears and overall mother’s intuition. She also states that after months/years of the investigation she had her own doubts and suspicions about Eugene’s father involvement and how the entire investigation was handled and cared for. The end of the podcast we learn that all of his mothers efforts finally paid off in a way she could never imagine. It was Eugene either going to see her or contacted her explaining that she had to stop looking for him. That he was involved in this huge operation that he has a certain role with power and that his mothers fight for him was endangering his life with his new “family” members. So much that he told her to please stop so that he would remain safe in his now normal everyday life. So she did what any mother would do to protect her son- she LISTENED and LET HIM GO. I encourage everyone to listen and hear the pain in this moms voice telling her story. Where do you think these boys that pretend to love girls and promise to give them a better life come from? They are kidnapped- trained and purposely chosen for what ever role they will become and then eventually train others to do. It’s very interesting to me that all missing children in Iowa are mainly Caucasians. In Illinois where I was raised it’s mainly African American girls and some boys. In California where I was born it’s mainly Hispanic women or young star eyed teens who believe that they can be made into a movie star model or living in poverty and promised a better life. I can stand rooted and calm saying all this because I believe in my heart this is our worlds BIGGEST problem. Coming from a woman who’s then 3 year-son was sexually abused and coached by his then 12 year old half brother to perform sex acts that I fortunately walked in on while he was having parenting time at his fathers. Also found strange Craigslist ads posted by my sons father that were in code that a lawyer once told me I needed to dig deep into the meaning and it’s hidden codes. Forensic exams, rape kits, intense therapy, orders of protection, court orders, DCFS involvement, a verbal statement made by my son to counselors, doctors, Dcfs, nurses and the detective who was assigned our case. Nobody listened except our therapist, who wanted to do anything she could to have this boy heard and protected- but had to be so careful as to how to have him heard, while having to jump hoops and hurdles to have the system work for him not against him. It’s not enough for a mother to witness it, report it, and then have her son explain in detail in a forensic exam to be told there was NOT ENOUGH evidence. That me constantly coming in 36+ times to report new information, disclosures, and overall fear of her sons safety was focused on more then the alarming fact that a 12 year old boy was sexually abusing and coaching a 3year old boy- While his father was home and present. In the suburbs of Chicago.I keep journals. I write down everything he wants to tell me- 2 years later geared around safety, structure and rebuilding has brought him to new level of realization and a higher state of concern that if what all my son says is true I’m so grateful I was able to listen, believe and react in a way that has given us a fresh, safe healthy start. However has me fearing for his future because this is an organized, detailed, system of checks and balances. If we don’t stand up, raise our voices, talk about what is uncomfortably true and real, and protect ALL CHILDREN’S LIVES! EVERY CHILD’S LIFE is a target for the dark side we live amongst. Hopefully my truth will open doors for others truth. Or the more information we can collect we can unite and fight.

  7. Mike K says:

    I clearly remember when Gene disappeared. I was 15 at the time. Gene was 2 years younger than I, he lived with his mother on the east side during the school year, and visited his dad during the summer, so I didn’t know him, but this happened in my south side neighborhood, and it hit me pry hard.

    As someone who grew up about a mile from where Gene’s paper bundles were dropped, and about a 1/4 mile from where his bag was found, who also spent a few weeks in Iowa August beating the bushes all over the south side of Des Moines with the organized search crews, I’d like to point some things out to the internet sleuths here.

    First. From where his paper bundles were dropped, the city limits are approximately 1 mile straight south, and also about a mile and a quarter west on a state highway that ran straight to Interstate 35. The map today doesn’t represent the area as it was because the airport bought out my entire neighborhood to expand and rerouted the highway a bit to the south. But if you look at the intersection of SW 14th and Army Post Rd. on the current map, then track a straight line west to I-35, through the airport, that is how the highway ran. Near the end of the last building shown on the airport on Google maps today is where the city limit sign used to be, and if memory serves me correctly 36 years later, Gene’s bag was found on the side of the road not too far past the sign (and not far from my driveway) by his RM, who saw it because it was on his path from where he was to Gene’s bundle drop. You could never miss those bright yellow bags playing on the ground anywhere.

    I didn’t know Gene because he was 2 years younger than me, but this was my neighborhood.

    The biggest reason that there is more information about the investigation out in the public view about Johnny Gosch than Gene is because Noreen could not stay away from microphones, and often times said things on air that compromised the police investigation. Don Martin didn’t do this.

    I can tell you that in the weeks after Gene’s disappearance there wasn’t a field, barn, ditch, culvert, property, creek bed, river bank, railroad trestle, abandoned piece of farm equipment, or park inside of a 7 mile radius that wasn’t walked and checked by our group, which often times was accompanied by Gene’s uncle. No property owner, to my knowledge, told us no, you can’t look here. That’s just the way we were back then. I also remember that neighborhood was literally crawling with police canvassing, checking, looking, etc… For at least a week. They were never denied access anywhere they wanted to look because us south siders were upset, and actually wanted to help. Nobody in Gene’s family hurt him, or buried him in the basement under his own house. Those things were extensively checked.

    Detective Rowley followed every lead and idea that came his way. You can take that to the bank. I will say that in the interest of keeping investigation details under wraps to keep the cranks from wasting his time, he wouldn’t, or couldn’t let people know what was or wasn’t found. That’s just standard investigative procedure. I see names called out here that I remember hearing back then, so I can only assume they were thoroughly investigated as well.

    Yes, the Register had a few pedophiles working in the delivery department at the time, but I recall every single one of them was checked thoroughly, as well as the RM, the DM, and anyone else with the Register that might have had a slight passing knowledge. DMPD didn’t want to miss a trick, and I don’t recall hearing of anyone stonewalling them.

    Someone mentioned that when Gene disappeared, the fair was in town. This is incorrect. When Gene disappeared, Balloon Fest was happening in Indianola, and the fair was still over a week away (August 15-25). It was someone from the neighborhood headed for Indianola to watch the morning mass ascension who witnessed Gene speaking with the adult. Although Gene’s mom lived a few blocks from the fairgrounds, Gene was at his dad’s, which was a good 20 minute drive from the fairgrounds, so the possibility of it being one of the carnies was extremely slim as that show wouldn’t have even been in the state of Iowa at that time.

    36 years later I still recall these things clearly. I remember coming home every night absolutely exhausted from all the walking and climbing over fences and obstacles, but ready to go again the next morning because I wanted him back home with his family. I remember how sad I felt when the searches were called off because we hadn’t been successful.

    Gene would be 50 this year, and we still don’t know where he is.

    • R&T says:

      Are you saying the newspaper bag was found on Army Post Road? Wasn’t there a church there before the airport expanded? If someone was headed that way with Gene, they might have been returning to WDM, which makes sense if it was the same person who kidnapped Johnny Gosch.That seems more likely than some random stranger from the balloon festival 15 miles away.

      • Mike K says:

        It was never stated, but from where we began, and focused the searches, yes, it appeared the bag was found on Army Post. Yes, there was a church out there. (Airport Baptist Church, the lot still remains and can be seen on Google maps) and the house I grew up in was right next door to the church. The city limits was about 1/2 mile father west from my house.

        Heading that watt would take you to Interstate 35, which can take you anywhere from there.

    • Clay says:

      Mike K.. I grew up just a few blocks from the abduction site and by the sound of it you and I are only 2 years apart in age. We may have met long ago. I also carried papers on SW15th St. The thing you need to remember is that south Des Moines and West Des Moines were very connectible then. Army Post (Hwy 5) shot straight west to 35 or 63rd Street that takes you into Johnny Gosch area.. but you could do most of the route then by skirting the city. At 6 am on a Sunday it would be a fast route. My point.. I think the Johnny and Eugene abductor was between or in those areas. I do not think it was a guy from North Des Moines trolling the southwest side. But at that time there was a lot of wooded or rural stretches on western Army Post Road.

  8. Patrick Kerrigan says:

    I was rereading all the comments posted here especially the one from Jodyin 2016. I have been reading more this child & human trafficking recently. This includes material posted on a blog on NCMEC website. Also, some articles on recent arrests by the FBI of a individual from Indiana.

    He was running a non-profit organization for Orphansbin Ukraine. The Dept of Homeland Security, and ICE assisted. They searched him upon his return f rut pm Ukraine and found computer devices with child pornography on them. He also sent a note to his son, that was intercepted, telling him to check above the ceiling of the laundry room, for another computer drive that had more images on them.

    The newest thing is Sexploiation. In which young kids are threatened to keep posting sexually explicit images or videos or else. One teenage male victim committed suicide. Another offenders threat forced police in Plainfield, Indiana to shut down schools and stores there.

    So, it’s still a problem, and it’s getting worse. So, we need to protect children, by being aware of what they are doing online. More information is available from the FBI and NCEMC. Make sure your local schools are alert of this. At my local Catholic church a FBI Special Agent, and three investigators from the Chicago Police Dept., DC did a program for the students, and then a program for parents. The attendance was small, and I was the only man, with t hff e exception of the church pastor. I don’t have kids.

    I am a former detective with the federal government, and try to keep up with what is going on in law enforcement, forensics. One of my duties, was giving crime prevention talks at a VA Hospital. So, I am big on reading and researching. It’s also important, because I have some beautiful great grandkids, that I want to protect. So be on alert and aware.

  9. Meme says:

    With all the info the was verified on the Johnny Gosch case, it is hard to believe that more info on Eugene’s case is not made available. Sam Soda actually told Noreen Gosch in June 1984 that another paperboy was going to turn up missing in the 2nd week of August 1984. This was relayed to local and federal authorities who did nothing at all. This info was verified by so many people and documented by the same. After Eugene went missing, it is clear that this was an organized kidnapping that was planned for months. This is no conspiracy theory, just do the research for yourselves and make your own conclusion. I hope they find this poor boy and give some closure to his family.

  10. Kennedy says:

    Hey everyone, after talking to my dad who lived about an hour away from the Des Moines area from 1971-1989 (around the same age as Eugene at the time of his disappearance) I recently learned about a possible suspect: a well-known teacher that around the area named Mark Glascock. Overall an extremely creepy guy that my dad and the kids his age stayed away and was infamous for the pedophilic rumors that surrounded him. Might want to take a look.

  11. Patrick Kerrigan says:

    It bugs me that someone shares information with the police, and it appears that they don’t follow-up on it. It sort of goes along with comments that some people connected with the newspaper might have been pedophiles.

    However, law enforcement would either have the present owner of the property to offer them access to check the area. But, then they would need more information to obtain a search warrant. They would then need to bring in ground penetrating radar, or cadaver dogs, to see if they might him on an odor.

    But, it still requires them to research this guys background. So, they may not want to make the effort based on him supposedly being creepy. However, I would think that they could pass it off to a retired investigator to see what he can find.

  12. bingo3 says:

    I just wanted to relay some info I found in the comments section of a Youtube video about Eugene Martin. It’s good to keep all the clues or possible leads in one place.

    A woman named Pamela Hobbs left an interesting comment on a Youtube video about Eugene Marin. She said quote “I lived in Des Moines Iowa when those boys disappeared and I remember an older guy that lived on 5th ave in Des Moines called my husband that back then did concrete work, he had him pour concrete over a dirt basement floor which made it where you had to duck it wanted it really thick, the old guy also delivered papers to corners where paper boys picked up the newspapers, I’ll never forget that, that guy was just really odd to me, I told police about it, not one checked out that house on 3100 block of 5th ave in Des Moines Iowa”

    So there you have a “creepy guy” that lived on the 3100 block of 5th ave in Des Moines that delivered papers to the paper drop spots, which means he worked for the Des Moines Register. He also had an abnormal slab of concrete poured in the basement.

    I have to say, All coincidence? Probably not. People’s intuition or initial impressions of someone is normally always right. If someone strikes you as creepy, it’s normally for a reason in my experience.

    • Carol Kean says:

      Thank you for sharing this, and I agree, it’s good to keep all the clues or possible leads in one place. This woman sounds credible. “I told police about it,” she writes but “not one checked out that house”–does she know that for sure? Sounds like some excavating may be in order. (Carol at ICC)

  13. Cold case enthusiast says:

    My prayers to all the families. Let me say, I am not accusing anyone. My grandmother had a saying, if something isn’t where it’s supposed to be, check EVERYWHERE. Here goes…I hate to say it, but cases go cold because close evidence goes un checked. If you go back to the 1st anomaly, the boy allegedly did his route alone for the 1st time. Why didn’t his brother go? Did he really leave the house? New incidents of family hurting family, even accidentally was too harsh to be considered by police or the community back then. I am not throwing shade or saying I know the family or town. Just offering my opinion as a person who has seen the dark side of families through child welfare. The boy had a scar and a wrist break but no mention of his playing sports, (red flag #2). I think the towns folk should be questioned again, especially the school staff& neighbors. Someone knows more, but back then you didn’t speak on how a parent raised a child due to sovernty of a home and the religious beliefs not to judge. At this late date, someone has something to confess before meeting his or her maker. A polygraph test should be brought in.

    I pray the property in & around the home is searched and clues to this poor boys body can be used to lay him to rest one way or another.

    My gut feeling is that this one literally hits close to home. As for the witnesses to his talking to another male, in small towns, one day is the same as the next, so the witnesses my have gotten the dates mixed up or there may be a cover up. The description is too vague. As for the pedophile ring theory, plausible. If the father was ill at the time, then Eugene may have been coerced by the promise of money for doctors & medicine, in exchange for his “time”. There are all sorts of newspaper want ad’s written in code, offering cash for young men. Maybe an employee at the paper told Eugene to meet with someone who could “help” his family situation, but he had to go alone. Maybe the dad knew of the meeting and was against it, but gave in eventually, only to lose his boy. And he couldn’t come forward out of guilt or threats. And why on one poster it said eugene wore a crop top (“boy-toy” apparel for that day), but other reports say a sweatshirt? (Red flag #3), Then the manager finds the boy’s bag and finishes the delivery without ever going to the boy’s home or school to confront the kid? (red flag #4) either way. I say check the home& family, ask at the school. There is more to the story, at the beginnig.

    • Heather says:

      There were found to be a few “Chesters” working for the Des Moines Register. One was incarcerated for sure and another was a known pedophile. There was a prostitution ring in Des Moines. The police and detectives knew it. Route managers knew the boys routes.

      • Eugene Gosch says:

        Nice analysis Cold case enthusiast. Same principle might apply to the Gosch kid as well. For years, block on 45th Street in West Des Moines where Johnny lived had a low chain link fence around the perimeters of the homes that are along Ashworth Road. Now, there is a 10-foot wooden privacy fences along the same property boundaries. As for the “Chester,” start with Frank Sykora and Wilbur Millhouse, both Des Moines Register circulation managers at the tome bot boys went missing. According to one former newspaper carrier, Millhouse said “Nothing would have happened to Johnny is he had kept his mouth shut.

        • Captain Obvious says:

          According to some, all detective James Rowley would have had to do then or now was go talk to or polygraph or interrogate a member of his own then city council that happens to still live in the same town for the information. Seems pretty straight forward to me. Wonder why this never happened?

          • Captain Obvious says:

            This fact that this case was never solved is insulting to the Martin family given the wealth of knowledge of the scrupulous characters that swarmed around at the time. This case and Gosch stink to high heaven of blackmail.

    • Shelly says:

      We were in elementary school when Eugene broke his wrist! I was with him when it happened!!! He fell off of the backside of the viaduct beside Willard school! I am the one who ran back to school and got help! And as for the scar on his knee… really? Most kids have scars on their knees… that in no way points to being abused at home!!! If he was abused at home there would have been a lot more than 1 scar!!!
      He was my friend and a cousin to one of my childhood friends, he was a very kind, loving and compassionate boy from a very loving family!!!

      • Shantrese Skidmore says:

        I agree kids were in no way the way they are now outta control n disrespectful hell to have a paper route back then was just the beginning of learning to be a responsible young man

      • C says:

        Eugene went to Willard but lived on the southwest side of Des Moines?

    • C says:

      The article states Eugene enjoyed football and skating. He could certainly injure himself doing either one of those things.

      I’ve been hurt playing football. My sister broke her wrist skating. Your “red flag #2” isn’t plausible

  14. Parker says:

    My mom lived a couple houses down from his family on 27th and E.Grand

    • Don Potochny says:

      There was a group of pedos working at Register at the time Gosch and Martin were abducted. There were also several subsequent abduction attempts after 1984, as meticulously researched by someone who started a Reddit thread.

      More than on online poster has called out Millhouse and Frank Sykora, the latter whom was fired from the Register in late 1984 for having molested at least seven Register paper boys.

      For a few years, Noreen was all over the Register connection. She even implored parents not to deliver for the kids to deliver for the Des Moines Register.

      Yes, Johnny and Eugene were victims of a pedophile ring, but the ring operated in Des Moines, not Omaha.

      • Cw says:

        Is it just me or is it odd that the manager found Eugene’s papers outside of des moines, and finished his route? How the heck did he know where to find them?

        • Don Potochny says:

          Sorry about the late reply, Cw. What’s just as strange is Johnny Gosch’s father finished his son’s paper route after finding the abandon wagon.

          That said, the trail for finding who took Johnny and Eugene goes through Des Moines, not Omaha. Des Moines Register Circulation Manager, Frank Sykora, went to prison for molesting 7 Register paperboys. We was outed by Noreen’s private investigator, Sam Soda.

          Omaha involved high profile politicians and business leaders. In Des Moines, it was Register Circulation Managers. According to one former Register paperboy, Circulation Manager Wilbur Millhouse told people “Johnny wouldn’t have disappeared if he had kept his mouth shut..”

          Johnny either told his parent or law enforcement, or both, because shortly after the Register transfered Millhouse to a much less lucrative route on the east side of Des Moines and with his job hanging in the balance, Johnny disappeared.

        • RD says:

          Not odd at all, he kneow the route, he started where the first complainant said they never got their paper and worked backwards, finding the papers abandoned he probably figured the kid abandoned his job and just quit.

      • RD says:

        “There was a group of pedos working at Register at the time Gosch and Martin were abducted. ”

        And at the local churches, and at the supermarket, library, nearby businesses, schools, daycare centers, retirement homes etc., in short- pedophiles are EVERYWHERE not just working in a newspaper!

  15. Don Potochny says:

    Wilbur Millhouse was a circulation manager for the Register at the time both Johnny and Eugene were abducted. He is a convicted pedophile and on other forums, several former newspapers carriers in Des Moines believe he had something to do with both cases.

    The first question you have to ask is it just coincidence that the two boys disappeared delivering newspapers on a Sunday morning for the first time without adult supervision.

    Coincidence? Really?

  16. anon says:

    Actually, I should have said above that Matice was “previously accused of molesting a paperboy in Iowa,” rather than “previously known to molest a paperboy in Iowa.”

    But he definitely was convicted of child porn in Texas.

  17. anon says:

    Of course, I don’t want to accuse Matice of being the perp. I merely point out that he #1 was previously accused of sexually molesting an Iowa paper boy and #2 bears a resemblance to the sketch of the suspect in the Johnny Gosch case.

  18. anon says:

    Roger Dean Matice, convicted in Texas of child pornography, and previously known to molest a paperboy in Iowa, has filed some sort of lawsuit in federal court in Iowa.

    This is despite the federal bureau of prisons saying he is in prison in Texas.

    I wonder what this is about…

  19. Tracy says:

    “It’s wrong to automatically assume two cases being connected.”

    Absolutely. Zero evidence they are connected. All this government conspiracy nonsense does neither case any favors. If anything, just muddies the waters and guarantees no resolution. However, its “exciting” for some people to talk such theories(about all cases unfortunately).

    The more likely scenario going by what the actual witnesses said, he was probably abducted/murdered by someone he knew, likely a neighbor, family friend, or subscriber to the paper along his route.

    Simple, logical, and no conspiracy.

    • Chris says:

      While I’m not saying I’m buying the government conspiracy stuff, that’s more likely than that they were abducted by someone they knew. That’s nonsense. Very little doubt in my mind, these were stranger abductions.

      • Tracy says:

        So Johnny just happens to get abducted by a stranger on the first day he’s allowed to go alone on his paper route? Eugene just so happens to get abducted by a stranger on the day he doesn’t take his older brother along with him?

        Witnesses saw Eugene having a “father-son” conversation literally minutes after leaving home, which means he more than likely knew who it was. He kept talking to the guy while he folded his papers getting ready to go on his route. This also implies familiarity with his abductor.

        No…a government conspiracy is not more likely than these boys being abducted and murdered by someone they knew, especially when you take into consideration the fact that most murder victims are killed by someone they know.

        How in the hell is a government conspiracy MORE likely? You got any statistics or anything even remotely resembling a fact to back that up? Talk about nonsense…

        • Heather says:

          Have you read about the Franklin CU cover up? There is also Paul Bonachi’s civil suit against Larry King and Paul Won. There was an underground child prostitution ring in Des Moines in the 80’s. There is also a timeline that was put together that showed many many people who were involved with this case that died and they died under very suspicious circumstances. There were a couple of deaths that were ruled suicides but yet had two gun shot wounds to the head??? DeKamps investigation is also a good read. There is so much out there about this. Project Charlie…mind control. I don’t know why it is so hard for people to believe. It happens all over the world but yet no one can believe it could possibly happen here. Victims from the old Boys and Girls Home in Omaha were able to give detailed information about rooms of the White House that were off limits to tourists and also high ranking officials who attended these parties at the White House where the children were brought. I dont know about you. It I certainly would not have known anything about the White House or who any of our government officials were, except maybe the President, when I was a young teen. And we did not have internet back then. Just sayin…sex slavery has been around for a very very long time but people are just now hearing about it.

          • Denielle Kelly says:

            I just wrote commented on this article first time today. I was reading through the comments and all of yours have really made me feel someone else gets it. I also would not know those details as young teen. One of the reasons why I was always so concerned my 3 year old son told me he goes on an airplane to fly to Florida we lived in Illinois. Then could show me the states on the map. Told me Florida is hot has big water. Never had he learned or experienced any of those detailed situations with me. He told me things that scare me so much that brings me to your solution we need to step in. Open eyes and ears and stop shutting our mouths.

  20. JD32 says:

    Does anyone know where Eugene’s newspaper back was found on the side of the road, which part of town? Not sure if this was ever made public? Wondering if it ever lead to any clues as to which direction/road he may have been taken after being abducted?

    • Dan says:

      I think it was Southwest 12th Street and Highview Drive, but the article says that the bag was found “outside Des Moines.” So I’m not sure.

    • Mat says:

      A pile of Eugenes newspapers was found on SW 14th and Highview, probable abduction point.. the SW 12th and Highview location was where Eugene was last spotted having a conversation with a man. There’s a helpful map on Reddit with these locations! Hope something useful comes from it

    • Daune says:

      I think the guy who killed jacob wetterling needs to have his whereabouts known on both the johnny gosch and eugene martin cases. Just a thought but he is a pedophile.

      • Angel says:

        I agree Daune, when I hear Danny Heinrichs was stalking paperboys in Paynesville, between 84 and 86 that gave me chills. He kidnapped and sexually assaulted Jared Scheierl in January 1989 in Cold Spring, MN; Jacob Wetterling was kidnapped, assaulted and killed in October 1989. Danny Heinrich was in his 20s but looked much older than his 20s. He also served in the National Guard. Is there any National Guard facilities near Des Moines that he might have had weekend guard duty? I have wondered if they ever checked him out for these missing boys in Iowa.

        • IA girl says:

          Fort Des Moines is on SW 9th, which is just a few blocks from where he was last seen and his bag was found a few blocks further away. I don’t know what Ft. DSM was used for at the time of either boys’ disappearance (I was born in ‘85); but in my lifetime it’s been used for weekend guard duty, a substance abuse treatment facility, and a halfway house.

          • Tee Bud says:

            Fort Des Moines was active back then, but on a very small scale, mostly used like a recruiting station with only a few buildings being used.

  21. Dan says:

    I still cannot get over Eugene Martin and the two other missing Des Moines boys, Johhny Gosch and Marc Allen. These cases pain me so, so much! I want the families to have closure…I want them to be found! I live in VA, but I feel like I have to go to Des Moines. I don’t know why, I just feel drawn to that place. Maybe I think I’ll find something??? I’m only 19 though, I have no money to go…but God willing ONE DAY! And the fact that Eugene’s parents have died not knowing what happened. That fills me with such sorrow. I feel like I’m too empathetic sometimes. I see the sorrows of others and make them my own, I internalize them and I become overwhelmed. I just hope that one day…ONE DAY we will all have the answers to these questions. I hope that all missing people of all time and their loved ones will have peace and rest and closure. One day. If not in this world, then in the next :,(((

    • Mat says:

      A trip to De Moines would be awesome! I feel so badly his parents had to leave the world without any resolution as well. I think it’s so above and beyond that retired PI JAmes Rowles has his photo in the garage and has attempted to chase down any and every tip presented to him. I would love to have a chat with him, and I hope that he has passed or plans on passing on all his knowledge and theories of the case to someone as passionate as himself in the near future.

      • Janice Blanchard says:

        As only living aunt of Gene Martin I spent time with his mother, his uncle went on the search finding nothing, I remember a week before Gene disappeared we stopped to visit at his mother’s place. I was in the yard and he came to me and gave me a big hug I asked what that was about he said “just because I love you” I accept that went about the visit . But that’s shows how.. great of a child Gene was . His mother’s side of the family still holds hope of finding.Gene. Beside his siblings. We all miss and love Gene.

  22. Mat says:

    Very well written and refreshingly fact based research regarding the Martin/ Gosch connection. I fear as the players in these cases age, the smoking gun lies in someone’s attic or aging mind )= so sad

  23. Heather says:

    A commenter (who claims to have been a paperboy for the Register at the same time as Johnny Gosch) recently posted on Johnny’s page about a pedophile named Wilbur Millhouse that worked for the Register. I looked up this man and he is indeed listed on Iowa’s sex offender website.

    • Jody Ewing says:

      Heather, you are absolutely correct. I thought I knew most details about the Johnny Gosch/Eugene Martin cases until I watched the recently released “Who Took Johnny” documentary on Netflix. Every little detail fell like a puzzle piece on a table that eventually depicted an image none of us ever thought about back in ’82 or ’84.

      Consider these scenes from the documentary: Ken Wooden, an expert on pedophilia, contacts Noreen Gosch while he’s in residence at ISU. Noreen admits to never having heard the word “pedophile” before.

      Ron Sampson, President of the Help Find Johnny Gosch Foundation (1982-1993) discusses Wooden’s thoughts with the Des Moines Register publisher.

      “The one thing that really sticks out in my mind, here’s this Harvard educated publisher of the Des Moines Register sitting there and he said “What’s this word pedophile you keep bringing up? Is that the right word?”

      That’s the case right there, Sampson said. The fact that someone so educated didn’t “know what the meaning of that word is … that is the undercurrent of this entire scenario.”

      Earlier this month I attended the annual Iowa Association of Private Investigator’s conference in Des Moines, and the speaker from the Dept. of Homeland Security strongly emphasized how this kind of “child trafficking” is everywhere now — in big cities, in small towns, and as close as our own back yards. What happened with Johnny and Eugene (and many other young boys) is not a myth or conspiracy theory fabricated by “liberals.”

      I remember this scenario presented: how does a regular, everyday Joe Pedophile get access to young children? He snatches them from along the streets. But what about high ranking political figures? Can they do that? There’s no need. The boys (and sometimes girls) are actually flown to D.C. for them.

      There are so many sex trafficking rings that the Dept. of Homeland Security is having trouble keeping up with them; for every one they shut down, others pop up elsewhere.

      It’s time we as citizens open our window blinds — and our minds — to some uncomfortable truths no one ever wants to admit exists.

      • Heather says:

        Thanks Jody. I know people did not believe or want to believe that these horrific evil acts could happen by the hands of people whom we are suppose to trust. I think today it is still inconceivable for most to believe anyone in our government could have anything to do with anything of this nature. But now with child trafficking in the news daily, I think people are more aware that this is a truth, this is real. What can citizens do to help? I think about all of the missing children and young adults daily and I want to do something, I want to find them. I myself have a 25 yr old son who is drug addicted, mentally ill and homeless because someone hurt him when he was young and he would never talk about it or tell who hurt him. He sent me a text message three years ago that didn’t make any sense and that was the first I knew that he was mentally ill but I have to wonder about some of the things he said. He stated that he believed that I had sold his existence to organizations and that the reason he is still living was so that I could receive a grief check. He was going to go to the MP’s like he should have a long time ago. He keeps learning more and more about Mid-America.
        I am not sure what he meant by MP’s but I am guessing he meant military police. Makes me wonder if my son has met people or been involved involuntarily with people who know things.
        I hate that it is assumed that a teenager is a runaway or that a young adult goes missing because they are on drugs and don’t want to be found.
        I don’t understand the evil among us.

      • anon says:

        Hi Jody,

        It’s been a while since I was on this page, but I was re-reading the comments tonight, and you are so right when you say “It’s time we as citizens open our window blinds — and our minds — to some uncomfortable truths no one ever wants to admit exists.” Epstein died. His buddy just died. Prince Andrew just settled. The rich and powerful are involved. Maybe not involved in the abductions of these three Des Moines boys, but they are involved in trafficking of minors at the highest levels.

        Also, look at the history of the Church. It has been a child-molesting criminal enterprise from Day 1. And at one point in time it was the most powerful organization in the world.

    • Ray Cozi says:

      The commentator you mention (Yellow Bag) posted the Wilber Milhouse connection for the first time on September 5, 2018 on Johhny’s page. How did you know about Wilbur Milhouse in 2016?

  24. Tegan Clark says:

    A law always says if one is kidnapped and not found earlier than 48 hours most likely their dead. 32 years ago and the nation is still Wondering about Eugene Martin and im still Wondering is it possible that this mastermind somehow would have gotten away with this so easily maybe, we will never get the right answers to this case because if this criminal was 30-40 years old he could be as good as dead by now to where we will never find Eugene. But we will always wonder how it was so easy to get away with a national crime, so much as to feel like he just disappeared off of the face of the earth.

  25. andrea says:

    Roger Matice (prior attack on a 12YO newspaper carrier in Cedar Rapids, plus also now in the federal pen for child porn) is a HAM radio operator. His webpage pertaining to that, with a biography, is located here at this link:

    In the event this link is taken down, I want to preserve here what he has to say about himself. Matice says:

    I grew up in Cedar Rapids, Iowa – the home of Collins Radio Co. It was hard not to know someone who was a ham! We probably had more hams per capita than any other city in the world.

    But my interest in shortwave radio started as a SWL at an earlier age of 9 or 10 because a family friend had a state-of-the-art Hallicrafters shortwave receiver. I loved tuning around the bands finding BBC, Radio Moscow, Voice of America, and Duetsche Welle.

    When one of my friends in Cedar Rapids showed me his dad’s ham radio shack with all those knobs and switches and meters and told me that his dad talked to other hams all over the world, I was hooked!

    I got my novice license around 1956 when I was 15. (Yes, I was born in 1941, that makes me 73years oldnow.) My call was KN0KON. I built my first transmitter – 25 watts, crystal controlled – in shop class. I got an “A” because it was such an unique project! I don’t remember what I had for a receiver – nothing special, I’m sure, because I didn’t have much money! And I suppose I had a simple wire antenna. Basic, but what great fun! I was talking to the world! A couple of my best friends in high school were also interested in ham radio. Together, we studied and got our Technician Class licenses.

    VHF and especially UHF were pretty experimental in the late 50’s and early 60’s and Collins Radio was at the forefront in the development of equipment at those high frequencies because of their involvement with the Air Force and the space program. Many of the engineers at Collins were hams and very active on 6 meters – one of the bands Technician Class hams could use A3 mode- AM at that! Does anyone remember the name of the 6-meter transceivers that the Civil Defense Agency provided to hams?

    One of the early memories I have is attending the first EME experiment at the Collins facility. It was a very exciting moment to hear those signals bouncing back from the moon!

    Other memories include visiting Arthur Collins’ (W0CXX) personal ham shack. Hardly a shack! Of course he had state-of-the-art equipment including two full-sized Log Periodic antennas on separate towers in the woods behind the house. Coax cables were enclosed in inert gas-filled pipes running out to the antennas! Collins was an interesting guy. The story was that he gotten bored during his first year at MIT and returned home to experiment and build radio equipment in his basement some of which was used by Adr. Byrd on his expedition to the Antarctic in 1934.

    Many considered Art to be a genius. I heard that he was always experimenting with new ideas and when one got stuck in his head, he would work ’round the clock. Apparently, many of his upper level employees were not always as enthusiastic and Art became known as somewhat of a tyrant! Sometimes his experimenting didn’t end well. Collins was a Mercedes-Benz fan because of their reputa- tion for engineering superiority. He took his 300SL (Gullwing) out on a winding, country road between Cedar Rapids and Mt. Vernon and wrapped the car around a tree at 120 mph. He wanted to find its “limits”!

    Another time the father of my best friend in high school accompanied Collins and a team of engineers aboard an experimental boat off the coast of California. The company had started experimenting with hull shapes constructed of fiberglass. As I recall it was the largest fiberglass hull ever build up until that time (70-ft. +/-). Collins wanted to see how it would handle in high seas and so ordered the boat out in gale force winds with all aboard. The boat survived, but was badly soiled by seasick passengers!

    Now, you might think that I studied electrical engineering in college. Wrong! I was a theater major – “all the world’s a stage…, etc.” I never became an actor, but because I had lots of courses in radio and television production I was offered a job at North German Broadcasting in Hamburg when I was living there in 1967. But that’s a whole other story for another time.

    After returning home from Germany, I went to work for Sears. In 1969 I was transferred to Chicago to work at their headquarters. I lived in a couple of apartment buildings that didn’t allow antennas, so ham radio took a back seat to a budding career. But in the late ‘70’s I moved into a high rise condo building along lake Michigan. My unit was on the 22nd floor of a 40 story building.

    I had seen a large 3-element Yagi on the top of a similarly tall condo building and that got me to thinking how great it would be to get back into ham radio and have an antenna up that high. I asked for permission to install an antenna on the roof of our building, but, of course, the request was denied. I offered all kinds of bonding, guarantees, and insurance, etc. to no avail. (The fact that I had gotten caught dropping a wire down from the roof after picking the lock to the access door probably didn’t help me much!)

    I ended up using a hydraulically operated mobile antenna designed for military and commercial use, mounting it out one of the windows. Having the window cracked even a little in the middle of winter in Chicago wasn’t a whole lot of fun! The tip end could be raised and lowered with a hydraulic pump to cover 10 through 80 meters. The big problem up 22 floors was getting a counterpoise positioned just right to achieve resonance. But over time I worked about 110 countries and had a lot of fun being back on the air.

    Having been lucky enough to travel all over the world for work and play, I’ve always been interested in DX operating. And like many DX’ers, I found the idea of being part of a DXpedition to be particularly exciting. Not having time or funds to be a part of a major DXpedtition, I decided to create my own (what is now called) “suitcase” adventure. Knowing the Caribbean fairly well, I did some research and came up with the island of Saba as my base of operation. A Dutch island just a few miles from St. Martin, the population of 1,000 persons and 5,000 goats included one ham who was not very active. Seemed liked a good spot!

    My plans included taking my Kenwood TS-930SAT, a partially assembled KLM V10-40, four band vertical with precut radials, MC-50 microphone, a paddle key and electronic keyer. I planned to take the radio on board and check the crate containing everything else. But when I got to the airport to check in to “Fly By Night International Airlines”, I was told that I could not carry the radio onboard because it was too large. I argued that I had measured the carton and it was within limits. They disagreed, but assured me that the radio would be stowed in a special compartment and would be handled with care. After a delay of five hours in leaving Chicago, we were informed that the flight could only get as far as Puerto Rico that night. So we finally took off, stopped in Miami, and arrived in San Juan around 11:00 pm. I impatiently waited for my luggage and the radio to come off the plane. Suitcase – no radio!It had been stolen.

    I arrived on Saba with my antenna and other paraphernalia, but no radio. Damn! So I sat on the top of the mountain for a week with very little to do but take pictures of fauna and flora – and goats! (By the way, the plane taking us from St. Martin to Saba was a “stall plane” flown by ex-Dutch Air Force pilots especially trained to land on the air strip built along the side of the mountain and aboutas long as an aircraft carrier ship! Exciting!)

    So now I am retired and after 22 years off air, and, again, enjoying a hobby that has been so interest-ing and so much fun for so many years. I am still using the replacement TS-930SAT that I bought in 1982when I returned from the disaster in Saba (fortunately paid for by my home owner’s insurance) and the same antenna that was never taken out of the crate until now. I live in a townhouse complex in Houston near the center of the city. The conditions for a ham radio station couldn’t be worse (even worse than the high rise in Chicago). The vertical is only 10 feet north of the building and 10 feet off the ground. On the other side of my fence is a massive power sub-station! For whatever reason, I’m getting signals in and out. Since getting back on the air March 18, I’ve had 1800 QSO’s and worked 119 countries!

    WOW! I can’t believe it!

    What great fun! What a great hobby!

    73’s Roger/K0KON

  26. andrea says:

    So Roger Dean Matice who grew up in Cedar Rapids and who according to various old newspaper articles would visit various relatives in other areas in Iowa including less than an hour West of Des Moines, looks uncannily like the guy in the sketch composite associated with the Johnny Gosch abduction. He has dark brown eyes and when he was younger had black hair even though it is white and grey now.

    Have a look at Matic’s booking photo here and compare it to the sketch of the suspect in the Johnny Gosch abduction:

    Matice had a history of previously sexually assaulting a 12YO paper boy in Cedar Rapids in 1966, when Matice was a 24YO university student. Matice then stayed off of law enforcement’s radar until he was busted for child porn 2 years ago. He’s now doing time in the federal pen for distributing child porn.

    Matice was in his 40’s when Gosch, Martin and Allen disappeared, and that was the estimated age of the perp in the Gosch disappearance.

    Moreover, Matice is, according to his booking information, 5 feet 8 inches, only 1 inch shorter than the witnesses estimated Johnny Gosch’s abductor to be.

    Although Matice appears to have lived in Chicago at the time of the Gosch, Martin and Allen abductions, Matice’s parents still lived in Cedar Rapids and according to old news articles he had grandparents and other relatives less than an hour to the West of Des Moines. It isn’t unconceivable that he could have borrowed a relative’s car when visiting in-state, or that he could have put fake plates on his own car.

    When Matice was busted for child porn 2 years ago in Texas, the county prosecutor said to local media (before the case was transferred to the feds) that Matice had never been in trouble with the law before. I called the prosecutor up to disabuse him of this notion and also emailed him a scanned article in PDF format from Matice’s 1966 assault on the 12YO paperboy in Cedar Rapids. Somehow that was not in *any* computer system anywhere.

    It seems to me that Roger Matice probably therefore was not on anyone’s radar during the Gosch, Martin and Allen investigations.

    But given his physical appearance, ties to Iowa, and his prior assault on a 12YO newspaper boy (plus thte fact that Matice himself had been a newspaper boy when a kid) he needs to be looked at in the Gosch, Martin and Allen cases.

    What sort of car did Matice drive back then? What sort of cars did his relatives own?

    The Allen, Gosch, and Martin disappearances all occurred on a weekend, indicating that the perp probably had a weekday job, he would have had to do his abducting on a weekend. What sort of job did Matice have back then?

    Could the witnesses in the Gosch and Martin abductions who gave physical descriptions maybe look at photos of Roger Matice?

    • Discombobulated says:

      Excellent Sleuthing. They ought to torture the hell out of him to find out if he was involved. He certainly looks like the composite and his history of attacking another paperboy and he himself being one fits the profile of someone with knowledge of how these kids worked. An online sleuth like yourself helped link the gentleman who could be Joseph Wetterling’s kidnapper to 5 other boys, so well done and lets hope your sleuthing brings some answers to these long suffering families.

      • andrea says:

        The police never responded to my email where I laid it all out. I therefore sent a letter today, along with photographs, to the one main witness (who had actually given directions to the person suspected of taking Johnny Gosch), explaining Matice’s history, and so forth. If the police won’t do their job, then maybe someone else needs to.

        • Dan says:

          Hello Andrea, I am wondering, has the witness responded to you? Also, do you think it would do good if I also sent an email to the police department? Maybe you could send me the email you sent to them to my email, and I will forward it to them. I promise I will give you credit for it. My email is

          Thank you.

          • andrea says:

            Hi Dan, I don’t want to discuss the witness at all; I don’t know what if anything he is doing with the info other than I did hear back.

            I sent my information to the police. They ignored it and couldn’t be bothered responding, just as the Iowa DSPS ignored it and couldn’t be bothered responding when I sent it to them in 2013.

  27. Nicole Thomas says:

    long time ago i spoke on two separate occasions to eugenes father. has anyone looked under that combine. the one parked in front of the old farm house by the racoon river. psychic, not your business. both times i talked to mr. martin we spoke of the same place.

    • Dan says:

      Hello, I was wondering what else you 2 talked about? How was Mr. Martin? And also, how did the subject of the farmhouse come up?


    • Dan says:

      Hello Nicole. I asked you some questions but you haven’t responded yet. Please answer, I am genuinely curious about what else you two talked about and how the combine/farm house came up. This might be an important clue…


  28. Marc Bolinger says:

    The Johnny Gosch case is pretty well known as his mother Noreen has written a book and it corroberates a story too disgusting to share here but an entire abduction organization was behind this from close by Omaha, Look up “Franklin cover up” and you’ll be shocked, Please dont insult the hurting parents with posts about made up, its what goes on, It will change your opinion of law enforcement at high levels

  29. Terra DeLora says:

    I feel the illuminati is alive and well in Des Moines, Iowa.

  30. Daniel King says:

    Is there a chance that the Eugene Martin case and this missing sister's case are related? It sounds like Welch (the man in the article) had an accomplice. "Instead, police grew more interested in another possible suspect: a man said to be about 50, dressed in a brown suit, who was seen talking with the girls while holding a briefcase and a tape recorder."

    A clean cut man was seen talking to Eugene on the morning that he disappeared.

    When Eugene disappeared… the Iowa State Fair was in town. Well… " Welch worked for a traveling carnival operating rides."

    "— Welch’s criminal history, including the Maryland burglaries, a possible robbery in Iowa, the molestation of the 10-year-old girl in South Carolina, the sexual assault of the other 10-year-old girl in Delaware."

    Welch may have been responsible for a robbery in IOWA!!!! I don't know where to find out which city/town that this robbery had taken place.

    There is also no timeline for Welch after he was released from his sentence in the mid-1980s. His arrest record doesn't show up again until 1992. Where was he between lets say, 1984 and 1991/1992? Traveling with carnival?

    Perhaps, I am just reading too much into all of this…..

  31. Daniel King says:

    Are you related to Daniel Becker who is on the Iowa Sex Offender Registry? Both you and Daniel Becker.. look as if you are related. Anyway, I am sure that you are only trolling…but I figured that I would ask you about Daniel Becker.

  32. Sherri Lyon says:

    so sorry for the families,god bless you.

  33. Jonna Warner says:

    Mark Becker, how do you know this?

  34. Mark Becker says:

    Every one knows who took them..The group of homosexal pedophiles based in Nebraska and Colorado. Martin was killed in Colorado for not cooperating. Gosh died at a man boy event..

  35. Brooke Beckman says:

    Although I never met my cousin Gene, my mother told me great stories about him. Reading this just breaks my heart. R.I.P uncle Donny and cousin Gene. I hope you both have joined together again♥

  36. sheila says:

    i dont know if related or not but i do remember them coming up missing, i didnt know either of them but to this day it haunts me! i feel so sorry for the family to have to go through what they are going through. how can two boys just vanish into the night never be seen or found?

  37. Jenna says:

    It’s wrong to automatically assume two cases being connected. Unless there’s evidence supporting the fact, it has to remain as conjecture. Most likely the Des Moines register people have already been checked out thoroughly. It’d be the easiest source to check.

    What one should be asking is if all fair goers have been accounted for, or even interviewed. I’m not saying that the officers on the case haven’t been doing their due diligence, but it’d be awfully difficult to interview everyone there.

    Possibly start with employees running new attraction, or just new employees working in that area. While a fair goer could have easily kidnapped him, an attraction worker would have the readily available excuse of being an attraction worker for, saying, moving large items, tools, etc. Not to mention that they’d have access to areas that might otherwise be off limits.

    I can just imagine what the police were dealing with at the time, with the chaos of a nationally-acclaimed fair AND a kidnapping occuring simultaneously. Just taking into accound the fair, it sounds like pure chaos on which a criminal could easily capitalize. Hopefully Eugene Martin will finally be found.

  38. Mary Crouse says:

    I am left wondering about the cases of Johnny Gosch and Eugene Martin. Did anyone check backgrounds of anyone working at the Des Moines Register? It seems strange to me that two boys delivering papers in neighborhoods would be taken by anyone other than someone that would know the routes the paperboys would take and what neighborhoods they worked in.

    I can’t imagine having to live with this as a parent. I have a son who is now grown and these cases made me so paranoid that I would worry every time my son went out to play with his friends. I was so bad I even made my son carry a two-way radio so if he ever got into any trouble he could call for help.

    • Mary says:

      Yes! I thought this too. What about the newspaper manager? I’m sure they checked into this but maybe it was overlooked. Also, what about a person (newspaper customer) that might have been common to both boy’s (newspaper) routes.

    • Laura Landon says:

      Apparently, there were known pedophiles working at the Register at the time, so this might be the right track. However, a stranger is not implausible either. A perv. goes where they know children will be and when they will be unsupervised. So, for a stranger to just drive the streets looking for lone paperboys at an hour when the boys would be awake, but the town is not, sounds like a reasonable possibility too. The abductor didn’t have to know the routes.

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