Johnny Joe Shields

Johnny Joe Shields (Courtesy Iowa Dept. of Public Safety)

Johnny Joe Shields

Missing Person

Age at Report: 32
DOB: February 12, 1956
Weight: 160 lbs.
Height: 5′ 06″
Race: White
Hair: Black
Eyes: Brown
Incident Type: Involuntary disappearance
Missing From: Carter Lake, IA
Pottawattamie County
Case #
NCIC Number: M-337585780
NamUs MP # 27996
Dental Records: Available
Missing Since: December 15, 1988

Johnny Joe Shields, who lived with his mother in Carter Lake, Iowa, was heard leaving the residence at 2 a.m. on Thursday, December 15, 1988, and has never returned to his residence nor contacted his family.

Pottawattamie County in Iowa
Pottawattamie County in Iowa
Carter Lake in Pottawattamie CountyCarter Lake in Pottawattamie County

The 32-year-old left personal belongings and his pickup truck behind, and was reported missing to the Carter Lake Police Department on Friday, December 16, 1988.

At the time of his disappearance, he was described as a 5-foot-6 white male weighing 160 pounds. He has black hair and brown eyes, and wore a beard and mustache.

He was last seen wearing blue jeans, a plaid flannel shirt, white Nike tennis shoes and a blue down vest.

Shields was employed by the Ohio Fish Market in Omaha, and there has been no activity in his bank account since he went missing.

The Iowa Department of Public Safety has classified his disappearance as involuntary.

Dental information / charting is available and will be entered on NamUs at a later date.

Information Needed

If you have any information about the whereabouts of Johnny Joe Shields, please contact the Carter Lake Police Department at (712) 347-5920.


18 Responses to Johnny Shields

  1. Excuses excuses says:

    This person is said to be Buried in a field that has lime in it….Southeast of Lakeside the junkyard… everybody in town knows the story including the police
    wonder if a single Bucket of dirt has ever been lifted or what excuse they would have to why not…..

    • Silence Hubbard says:

      Look at the time frame, there is no way he could be buried there unless someone kept the body in their home for months. The ground wouldve been frozen solid. Digging any kind of hole without large very noticable equipment would have been impossible and I highly doubt that anyone would damage heavy machinery to that. This is the first anyone has even proposed this idea that I know of. Seeing that I’m his son pretty sure that story would have atleast crossed my path at some point. I’d really like to know what happenend that night though. Lots of questions as to why he would vanish, leaving me to suffer the childhood I went through. His own family has barely spoke a word to me. Idk kind of messed up if you ask me. Ive only been able to piece together bits and pieces over the years and I have an idea of what happenend but without being able to talk to folks who knew him personally I’ve hit a dead end.

      • Curious says:

        Could you share what you have learned? what do you think happened?

        • Silence Hubbard says:

          It’s all hypothetical, but I think he was tied into the drug smuggling that was going on in the Ohio fish market. He probably stuck his nose where it didnt belong or did some one dirty. The stories I’ve heard all have 1 thing in common and its that drug ring at the fish market. Story goes he was helping smuggle the drugs out, the night he disappeared he was supposedly going with his best friend. I was never tolf the friends name just that this friend committed suicide shortly after. From what Ive been able to gather this is the most likely scenario. His body was either crushed in a car or dumped in the river. Everyone that knows the truth of the matter is either dead or will never talk due to their standing in society. Its a lost cause honestly. He shouldve been pronounced deceased years ago.

          • Curious says:

            Wow sorry to hear.

          • Shae says:

            Can you share what your grandmother said he did before he left?

            • Silence Hubbard says:

              Unfortunately by the time I actually met his mother she was too ill and unable. Spoke to his sister once, but not much was said about him a few photos and some background info. Most of what I have gathered has been hearsay.

              • Dawn says:

                My dad was best friends with your grandfather, your dad‘s dad. I was at my parents home & remember when he disappeared. The story I heard was that he had gotten home late received a phone call and then went back outside and was never seen again. So someone called him to meet outside and it must’ve been a set up. His truck wallet and ID grow up behind. They knew right away that he left in voluntarily. My dad is gone now, but I remember him telling me about a family that was probably behind it.. Unfortunately, I don’t remember the last name, but they had notorious reputation. I also remember there was a grand jury. A rumor came out of that that said he was in a car that was buried somewhere, and that the car was found and unburied, but he wasn’t in it. That’s how I remember and it was so long ago.. I am so sorry that you lost your dad & at such an age..

              • Shae Mims says:

                OK, I was one of the cops that worked this case with the IBI. Here’s what we were able to uncover, which granted is not much. Johnny came home from work, took a shower, changed clothes. Prior to that he put his dog in the back yard. When he had finished with all that he asked his brother to bring his dog in and told his mother he was going out with some friends. I don’t think he was planning on being gone long since he left his wallet. He got in the car with someone that no one saw and wasn’t seen again.

                We talked to people from the Fish Market and no one at the time stood out to us. I left the department there the next month, in Jan. During that month working it there were so many rumors pertaining to that family you speak of who has the junk yard. It would not surprise me if they were involved.

                I also talked to a couple of the officers after I left that dept and moved out of state and was told there was a house in town where the yard had been dug up and even though they found plenty of junk, no bodies. I’m not positive this happened, but what I was told.

                I have to tell you this case has stayed on my mind after all these years and I post it any time I can. It will haunt me till the day I die. I would love this to be solved so I haven’t given up. Good luck to you hon, I can’t imagine how you feel.

                • Ann Ann DeSantiago says:

                  So true about that family you speak of in Carter lake. I became friends with his brother about a year after this happened. He said everybody pretty much knows who is responsible but nobody will ever ever talk. The fear of them is real. I lived in Carter lake for years and they are no joke. Definitely not people to be played with very scary. Even making this comment makes me nervous. But I feel sort of obligated to let you know there’s nothing more you could have done. My uncle was a detective with the Denver Police department and I know how this would have made him feel. Sometimes there really is nothing more you can do.

                  • Jimmyjames says:

                    Idk… I don’t think I Could live in the same town as my family’s murderers without doing something myself… That’s just my opinion nothing against you guys Being scared of everything

      • Robin says:

        Most likely his friend had something to do with it if he committed suicide men don’t kill herself unless something is eating at them they cannot change or fix.

      • Shae Mims says:

        Also we had a calm winter that year and it was not too cold to dig. That place always had all kind of diggers and other machine going.

  2. Patrick Kerrigan says:

    A few nights ago, I came across a history of the Ohio Fish Market. It was an interesting story. However, the article mentioned that three homicides took place at the place. One of victims was identified as Johnny Joe Shields. It did not provide any details on how he supposedly died. Yet, the details appear to show that Mr. Shields, disapppeared from home, and not from work.

    Also, someone with the same last name was born in Nebraska in 1938, and lived in Carter Lake, also in Bettendorf, Iowa, and Port Byron, Illinois. He died in Carter Lake, sometime after his namesake disappeared. I wonder if this was his father. Since, he was living with his mother.

  3. Patrick Kerrigan says:

    I was wondering if their any traumatic events that took place in his family or friends before he disappeared.

    I wonder if was dealing with any type of stress connected with his job. Also, were there any noticeable changes in his demearnor in the days before he disappeared.

  4. Sending prayers and my heart and thoughts to the family and friends.

  5. Prayers for the family

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