Harry Milligan (Courtesy Iowa Department of Public Safety)

Harry Milligan (Courtesy Iowa Department of Public Safety)

Harry Dennis Milligan

Missing Person

Harry Dennis Milligan
Age at Report: 21
DOB: October 4, 1962
Missing From: Albia, IA
Monroe County
Height: 6′ 00″
Weight: 160 lbs.
Hair Color: Brown
Eye Color: Blue
Incident Type: Involuntary Disappearance
NCIC Number: M-126380624
Missing Since: July 1, 1984

 

Monroe County in Iowa
Monroe County in Iowa
Albia Iowa Albia in Monroe County

Harry Dennis Milligan, a 21-year-old Marine Corps reservist, went out with friends in Albia, Iowa, on Saturday night, June 30, 1984.

He was last seen alive in Albia’s business district between 3 and 3:30 a.m. Sunday morning, July 1, 1984, and later reported missing to the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office in Albia.

Witnesses said Milligan was last seen traveling north on Main Street in Albia and at that time was believed to be en route to his family’s home in Avery, where he failed to show up.

Milligan owned and was driving a maroon 1977 two-door Pontiac Grand Prix, which had current 1984 Iowa license tags with plate number EIJ-244.

He was described as a 6-foot-1 white male with brown hair, blue eyes, and weighing about 160 pounds. When last seen, he was wearing a blue plaid, short-sleeved shirt, blue jeans and white tennis shoes.

1977 maroon Pontiac Grand Prix

Harry Milligan drove a 1977 maroon Pontiac Grand Prix similar to the one shown here. The vehicle, like Milligan, has never been found.

His family posted a $500 reward for information about his whereabouts and distributed the posters nationwide.

Milligan’s father, Leonard Milligan, said in a Jan. 8, 1985 Monroe County News article that some rumors had been checked out, but nothing definite had shown up to indicate Harry’s whereabouts.

“Losing our daughter (she died the month after Harry disappeared) hurt, but we know where she is and we can’t bring her back. We’ve done all we can do to locate Harry and now we just sit back and wait. We don’t know what else to do. I don’t know what I’d do if I wasn’t working.”

Neither Milligan nor his vehicle has been seen since the night he disappeared under suspicious circumstances.

The Iowa Department of Public Safety classifies Milligan’s disappearance as “Involuntary,” which defines a person of any age who is missing under circumstances indicating that the disappearance was not voluntary (i.e. an abduction or kidnapping).

Strangely enough, on Tuesday, July 17, 1984, The Monroe County News — under “SCHEDULED FINES” — listed the following:

Harry Dennis Milligan, Albia, failure to use headlamps when required, $22 plus costs.

Hunters on lookout for three young missing Iowans

In November 1984, as an expected 250,000 pheasant and quail hunters and some 20,000 to 22,000 trappers prepared to venture into some of the state’s streams and most remote areas, officials urged them to keep eyes open for clues to the disappearance of three young men from Iowa.

Eugene Martin

Eugene Martin disappeared a month after Harry Milligan.

In addition to Milligan, rewards totaling $125,000 had been offered for information about Eugene Martin, who disappeared from his newspaper route in south Des Moines Aug. 12, 1984, and Johnny Gosch, who vanished from his route in West Des Moines on Sept. 5, 1982, the Albia Union-Republic said in an article published Nov. 8, 1984.

Johnny Gosch

Johnny Gosch went missing in 1982.

Persons with information were instructed to contact either the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office or the Des Moines Police Department.

According to the Union-Republic, officials said hunters and trappers could constitute, in effect, the largest search party ever put afield.

Additionally, wildlife biologists and Iowa Conservation Commission officers were expected to be out in force to help game wardens with law enforcement.

Experts estimates that if hunters and trappers in the five states surround Iowa were alerted to look for the three missing boys, that the potential search party could swell to more than 1 million persons.

None of the three boys has ever been found.

Harry Milligan was born Oct. 4, 1962, and in 2015 would have turned 53 years old if still alive.

Milligan’s Brother: I WILL finish this…

Harry Milligan’s brother, Mark Milligan, has spent more than 30 years being told different stories about his brother’s disappearance. Mark Milligan — a police sergeant with the Ottumwa Police Department — has taken to social media in efforts to discover what really happened to his brother.

Harry Milligan marker

Courtesy The Ottumwa Courier

He is tired of the rumors. Tired of the outright lies. And tired of false assumptions.

On January, 7, 2016, Sgt. Milligan posted a message on Facebook addressing the lies, misconceptions, and his ongoing search for truth and justice. “All I know is that I will never quit looking, never quit asking, never quit hoping for an answer,” he said. “I WILL finish this so there is answers.”

Below is Sgt. Mark Milligan’s post in its entirety, courtesy Facebook:

PLEASE SHARE….I Think with the New Year and the rumors that seem to have spread rather quickly lately I need to clarify some things with my FB friends and family. Before I get into this (which may be rather long) please understand I may offend some people, I may surprise some people, but one thing I am not going to do is pull any punches or try not to hurt any feelings. So if you don’t want to know what I think, or what I am asking for then stop reading this now.

This is one of the hardest things I have ever had to deal with and has completely torn me up for over 30 years. So I will start with what I know as of recent, and hopefully it clarifies the rumors.

What I know is that the ex-wife of Jay Owens (I believe Loria) has made claim that she has information regarding Jay Owens being involved in or committing a murder in Albia Iowa approximately 30 years ago. I know that it is being looked into by DCI agents. That is what I know as of now. Could it be my brother, yes. Could it be Tim Earney, yes. If you are familiar with this you know both of these tragic incidents happened within months of each other in Albia. I wish I could tell everyone I had an answer FINALLY, but that is not the case. I am once again left with the same thing I have held on to for years, HOPE, that someday there is an answer. 

I guess that leads to this, and the fact that I have tried several different things over the years and now with the overwhelming use of social media I thought I would reach out to everyone I know and use you and your extended friends and family to see if somehow I can get an answer. I am clearly asking for help, not opinion, not some preconceived idea of what happened, or an assumption. I am strictly asking for facts. Things that people know. 

July 1st, 1984 my Brother, Harry Milligan disappeared from existence, in Albia Iowa. A town of approximately 3000 people and it seems that no one knows what happened. At the time of his disappearance I was on active duty in the Marine Corps so I do not know the events that lead up to this Saturday night early Sunday Morning other than what I have been told. So that is why I am asking for help. I am going to put out all the information that I know or have been told. I am going to put out all the opinions and misnomers that have been told to me and see if I can obtain more useful information and also hopefully stop some of the formed opinions and rumors. So like I said If I mention a name and my opinion and it offends you, Tough. It is mine and I will own it and defend my opinion. 

Here is what I think I know…. My brother was at the bar (Waterworks), owned and operated by Mike Stocker located in North Main Street in Albia. I know that he was drinking and playing poker that night at the bar. It is my understanding that he did rather well that evening, taking several hundred dollars from Mike Stocker and the others (unknown to me, but would like to know) and closed the bar. 

I know he left that bar with what I have been told was Steve Rockwell and Jeff Adler. I was told that they purchased a six pack of beer to go and got into Steve Rockwell’s car and drove around finishing the beers. I was told that at approximately 3:00 am Harry was dropped off back at his car parked in front of the bar on Main Street facing north and that he was observed by at least Steve Rockwell getting in his car. It is unclear and I do not know if Jeff Adler also got out of the car or not. (It may be that I was told but I do not recall ever being told.) I know that I was told that Steve then saw Harry start his vehicle and start to drive north, which would be in the direction of home since we lived in Avery Iowa. That is the last time my Brother was ever seen that I know of other than years later an individual, Raymond Ostermeyer stated that he possibly saw Harry’s vehicle going south in town at some point that early morning. 

SO very limited information as you can see from the night’s events. 

Things I would like to know: 

  • Who saw Harry at the bar that night and was he playing cards?
  • If he was playing cards who all was playing? 
  • Was he winning and were there any persons that could have had hard feelings or was upset? 
  • Who may have seen him leave the bar that night and was he with Steve Rockwell and Jeff Adler? 
  • Did anyone see them return to the bar and where exactly was his car parked that night? 
  • Did anyone see him leave in his car and was anyone with him? 
  • Who was the bartender that night and did anyone stay after to clean the bar or continue to drink? 

I need to explain one thing that has always struck me as very strange since this night. First of all after I returned and began to search and ask questions I want everyone to know that Steve Rockwell has spoken with me in regards to what transpired that night. He has also stayed in contact with Mom and Dad for several years trying to help them out.

What I find strange is that JEFF ADLER has never spoken to me or my parents in regards to this night nor has he ever made himself available to speak with law enforcement that I am aware of. I know I have a copy of the case file and nothing in regards to that is in there. When I was in Albia looking and talking to people every time I entered a place where he was at he would leave. This I find very strange. 

To be very honest the entire investigation was minimal cause it was a 19-year-old male and I personally do not believe it was taken seriously at the time it happened. 

Now to rumors and such that has been told to me over the thirty years and my opinion of them. Again if you don’t want to hear my opinion now would be the time to stop reading. 

#1 My dad (Leonard) killed him and buried him and the car in the house on our property in Avery. 

*Absolutely not true. Most people don’t understand that Harry was adopted, and the life and soul of my dad’s. Just as most people don’t understand that Leonard (I refer to as dad) is actually my grandfather that raised me absolutely something he would not do. 

#2 My mother (Vicki) killed him because they argued on occasion. 

*Absolutely not true, most people don’t understand that my dad worked on the railroad and was away from home a lot because of work so mom was the disciplinarian in the house. We were teenagers arguments happened enough said. Did not happen. 

#3 Harry decided to just leave.

*Highly unlikely, if you knew his situation he had it made. He was very intelligent, going to college at NMSU in Kirksville, was in the Marine Corps reserve and came home every weekend to party etc with his friends as he was this night. 

#4 He was involved in some top secret thing in the military and they moved him away.

*Really, then I don’t think they would have declared him as a deserter at one point and made us jump through all sorts of hoops in regards to other issues. 

Those are the opinions that have been told to me personally that I absolutely know to be nothing but stupid people’s imagination running crazy. But now to things that makes more sense but has never been able to be substantiated or proven to be a part of his disappearance. 

#1 Harry was mistakenly killed by some unknown person or an individual with the nickname “Flame” that was actually intending to kill Doug Maddy. It was explained to me that there was a serious drug debt owed by Maddy and that this person was sent to collect the debt or kill Maddy and he mistook Harry as being Doug. My opinion is that this is a possibility and since Doug and Harry were friends. Harry was no angel and partook in some drug use and of course well Doug Maddy… Enough said… Him and I have a history he knows my opinion of him and what he does. However, it should be known he has never been questioned or volunteered any information. 

#2 It was rumored that during this supposed card game that night at the bar Harry took a considerable amount of money from Mike Stocker and he was very upset. I have been told that Mike or someone Mike paid was waiting on Harry to return to his car that night and that person is who killed Harry. 

I was told that the car was then buried since Stocker had family with the capability and equipment to make that happen. My Opinion is that this is a possibility. I knew Mike Stocker and I was no Angel at that time and frequented the bars myself. I knew that beer was not the only thing being sold out of the bar. Part of why I question who all worked there or was there after hours is because years later Steve Townsend made a very clear comment to my wife one night at McGee’s bar as he looked at me. “How much do you think it would cost to make someone disappear?” She really didn’t reply and he stated something to the effect “I have done it before for less than $500 dollars.” Might not be a cop now if she would have told me that comment at the time and not waited till we were home, but then again… Steve Townsend he also knows my opinion. Enough said. 

This is the information I know after thirty years and I just cannot believe that someone DOESN’T KNOW what happened to my Brother. Someone or a group of people know what happened and all I ask is for someone to come forward and let my family put this to an end with some answers.

No one can imagine the shit I have heard, been told, or even been threatened with since that day. Everyone knows I’m a cop, have been for almost twenty years. I have been told numerous times by persons I was dealing with on a professional level that they wish it had been me instead of him, (really dumb asses you don’t think I have thought that too after watching what my mom and dad have gone through), I have had my wife’s life threatened from a god dammed murderer (Mike Jespersen that killed one of my good friends Jeff Woolums) when he sent word from the prison if I didn’t quit messing with his son she would come up missing like Harry. He also made claims of knowing what happened but would never tell. I have had to listen to people Like Doug Chidester, Steve Dye and others tell me that they know exactly what happened from being in prison but would never tell me what they know. 

All I know is that I will never quit looking, never quit asking, never quit hoping for an answer. All I ask is if you know or think you know something please contact ME or the Monroe County Sheriff’s office with the information that you have. You never know how it could help. 

Thanks for caring and reading my post. 

Please share it and ask your friends to share it you never know who may hold the key to my 

Question: What happened to my Brother, Harry Milligan 

As for the current investigation that is taking place. I hope that if you know something you are smart enough to contact me or the Monroe County Sheriff with that information as soon as possible. I am not hard to find I am on Facebook and I am currently employed at the Ottumwa Police Department. Better to be part of the answer than to be implicated. I plan to NEVER let this die and now that I can reach more people easier TIME IS NOW ON MY SIDE. 

Rest in peace my BROTHER, someday I WILL finish this so there is PEACE.

~ Sgt. Mark Milligan, Jan. 7, 2016

Click Here to View and Share the Post via Facebook

Information Needed

If you have any information regarding Harry Milligan’s mysterious disappearance or whereabouts, please contact the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office at 641-932-7815, or the Missing Person Information Clearinghouse / Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation at 1-800-346-5507.

Sources:

 

45 Responses to Harry Milligan

  1. Has water ways been searched to possibly finding the car?

  2. marcia says:

    I’ve heard rumors about Lake Miami, but I had also heard he was driving a motorcycle.

  3. Theresa says:

    It appears suspicious that he would be seen by friends on the evening of the 1st, and reported missing on the 1st as well since he was 21. I hate it when information is withheld for the purpose of the case. I wonder what those who saw him last said about where he may have said he was heading, what they were doing when they saw him, etc.

  4. Jane says:

    He left friends on the town square and was headed to his parent’s house in his car.

    • LuAnn Eggers says:

      It’s strange that he was reported missing on the same night he disappeared..I think his friends or some other person knows where he is or what happened to him and they are scared to come forward with information..There are so many different avenues here that could have happened to him…His car could have been buried or drove into that Lake outside of Albia….He could have picked someone up and met with foul play, and like I said before if drugs were at all involved maybe Harry was an informant and is in a witness protection program…So many speculations here…but what is also strange is that I posted a comment on here awhile back about what I feel might have happened to Harry and it somehow disappeared…huh..wonder what happened to it??

  5. Sue Herman says:

    What about the abandoned coal mines and quarries in the area? The car must be hidden from view. I say that because the DOT would have about every car found, sold, crushed, abandoned, auctioned, etc. in its database. Those databases could be cross referenced to other states, so if that car was/is on the road, it probably could be traced. Perhaps no one has tried since, we didnt have all the data at our disposal back then. If someone could get a VIN from the courthouse, his famliy, the police report, etc. even a simple Car Fax might pull some records. I have found info on cars back to 70’s. If it was found abandoned in another state back then with no plate, they may have documented it, then finally sent it to a crusher. That’s the kind of thing cold case people should be re visiting. A 21 year old man and his car in a small town don’t just disappear.

    Does the DOE Network automatically cross reference the Iowa Missing Persons and Cold Case databases and vice versa? I saw one DOE case where they list who it is not ( Not Jodi Huesintraut (sp.?) specifically), but do they all do that? Case 2UMIA seems to fit this one..

  6. Have they checked lakes in the area he went missing?

  7. I agree, it’s under water somewhere.

  8. Weird huh! You would think someone in this small town would know something??

  9. Nancy Potter says:

    I didn't know he went missing. Wow. I pray for his family. Miracles can happen.

  10. His brother is now the head of southeast iowa drug task force i pray for answers for the family.

    • LuAnn Eggers says:

      I was wondering if his brother was still in law enforcement because my sister and her ex husband use to live in Albia for 18 years and she had mentioned to me once that Harry’s brother was on the Monroe Police Department..

  11. Paula Devore says:

    He was such a nice kid I can't believe someone would do something to him. I have wondered for years if he is in a pond somewhere as it is hard since him and his car dissappeared.

  12. I pray the family finds him.

  13. LuAnn Eggers says:

    My sister & brother in law use to live in Albia Iowa for 18 years. My sister had said thah Harry’s brother use to work for the Monroe Police Department..I’m not sure if he still is in law enforcement or not..But I was reading this and I was thinking how could he just vanish like that into thin air.? He was seen with friends downtown on the Albia square and then people seen him drive off to head home..So u know he had to vanish in between uptown and his route home…Another speculation that I have is that he either picked someone up and met with foul play, his car could be in a quarry somewhere or that Lake outside of Albia(cannot remember the name of it now).. If drugs where involved in some way, maybe he could have been an informant and is in a witness protection program…It just seems real odd, and the fact that none of his friends have any clue where he could be…….Hopefully someone will come forward with information on Harry and then his family can have some closure….

    • Monty says:

      I was friends with Harry, and with him the night before, along with a lot of other people… All was good, then no one could find him after that!!!

  14. Sure on the 1977 grand am. Production stopped in 75 and resumed in 1978

    • Greg Stephens, thanks for noticing this. I went through several more articles tonight and found out it was a 1977 GRAND PRIX, not Grand Am.

    • Greg Stephens , in cold cases, every little detail matters, and this makes a big difference! I did find a similar photo of a maroon ’77 Grand Prix and posted it on Harry’s page. Hopefully some people might remember the car. I personally believe there are several individuals who know what happened that night. Officials need just one of them to “break,” and the rest will fall like dominoes. I’m so glad Mark Milligan had the courage to “name names” in his post; as a rule, newspapers won’t publish names of suspects, but our site is different. We never accuse anyone of anything but only point out the truth of who was doing what with whom when last seen alive, and so on. Young guys like to boast to girlfriends, but (fortunately) the girlfriends soon become ex-girlfriends. Now that Mark has put the names out there, maybe one of them will have the courage to come forward with what she knows.

  15. Greg Stephens title says 1977

    • Mark, I’ve just added more articles and info to Harry’s page, with PDF links to articles published right after Harry first went missing. Jody at ICC

    • Jody, thank you so much… I appreciate it and hopefully it helps find the answers.

    • Mark, I think it’s going to boil down to you having had the courage to put the names out there that will end up solving Harry’s disappearance. Once names appear, people start talking. I recently added several new details to one case summary (naming names), and one of those mentioned immediately posted on her FB page: “I didn’t say anything — I swear!” (Right there that tells us she ‘knows something’ and is afraid others will think she’s the one who ‘snitched’ and contacted ICC with the info.) Like with Harry’s case, there were plenty of names to go around, and I implicated no one in the summary … simply reported the facts, just as you did. Nothing libelous whatsoever. It *gets people talking* (especially those involved or who know something) and that’s always a good thing.

    • Who made that statement? I’m curious… and I’m sure the DCI will want to know.

    • Sorry, miss read that. .. but I’m about to make another post with some updated information as soon as I can get it all in order.

    • Mark, you’re right in that the it-wasn’t-me FB post wasn’t about Harry but another cold case. I used it as a comparison because the girl only left the comment after I’d updated “that” person’s page and included names of known individuals who’d spent the evening with the victim.

  16. the friends know what happened, is my guess

  17. Is it possible the car could be submerged somewhere with him in it?

  18. Theresa Brown says:

    Never give up hope I had a cousin who went missing my 99 year old aunt waited till he was found before she would pass they found his boots at a landfill in California upon further investigation found out a group of Mexicans murdered him I will share share share

  19. It’s amazing how many newspaper articles (especially from small-town newspapers) have been digitized into online archives since ICC began 10+ years ago. I’ve gone back and added PDF files for some of those articles published when Harry first went missing. Jody @ ICC

  20. Jotee Jo says:

    Do the police not think the 3 boys disappearances are connected?

    • Jotee Jo, police are fairly certain Eugene Martin’s and Johnny Gosch’s disappearance are connected, but I don’t think (then again, I only know what I’m told) that Harry’s disappearance is connected. FWIW, a Google map shows the two locations are less than an hour apart. In my personal opinion, I think locals were responsible for Harry’s disappearance, and that pedophiles were responsible for Eugene and Johnny’s disappearances.

    • Jotee Jo says:

      Yes I continued to research all 3 cases and I agree with you 100%. I think there is more than one person in that town that knows what happened to Harry and they need to speak out. Some perp most likely took advantage of the other two boys paper routes and watched them. Sickening when your a kid just starting your life and you can’t even keep a paper route cause of these sickening bastard. They are all my heart and I pray for answers. 💛💚💜

    • Jotee Jo Exactly. When I think of my childhood and my own paper route, I remember looking forward to going to one house in particular because even at 4:30 a.m., the elderly woman already up and playing the piano, and she played it beautifully. Those are the kinds of memories paperboys/girls should have.

    • Jotee Jo says:

      That’s cool. I had a flyer route too when I was 13.

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