Robert Lee Kellar (Courtesy Iowa Department of Public Safety)

Robert Lee Kellar (Courtesy Iowa Department of Public Safety)

Robert Lee Kellar

Missing Person

Name: Robert Lee Kellar
Age at Report:
March 24, 1969
135 lbs.
6′ 01″
Missing From: Muscatine, IA
Muscatine County
Investigating Agency: Muscatine Police Department
Case Number:
NCIC Number:
NamUS MP #
Incident Type:
Disability — physical/mental
Missing Since:
February 12, 1990


The Details:

Robert Kellar (Courtesy NamUs)

Robert Kellar (Courtesy NamUs)

Robert Lee Kellar, 20, was last seen on Feb. 12, 1990 in Muscatine, Iowa, right before he left on a cross-country trip. His family assumed he would be back, but they never saw him again.

At the time he went missing, Robert was described as a 6-foot-1 white male with brown hair, brown eyes, and weighing about 135 pounds. He sometimes went by the name of Rob Heuton.

Robert Kellar (Courtesy NamUs)

Robert Kellar (Courtesy NamUs)

Kellar had always wanted to be a singer in a rock and roll band, was known to hitchhike to California, Colorado, and Florida.

Family members said he wasn’t acting like himself in the months prior to his disappearance and believe he may have been using drugs. They always assumed he’d be back, and didn’t report him missing until two years after he left on his last cross-country trip.

Robert Kellar (Courtesy NamUs)

Robert Kellar (Courtesy NamUs)

The investigation concluded he left the area voluntarily because there was no indication of foul play in his disappearance when he left. Foul play is now considered a possibility because family members don’t believe Kellar would have gone more than 25 years without contacting any family members.

Robert has two small scars on his left cheek, a small scar below his right eye and a small scar on his right wrist.

Dental information and charting is available and entered into NamUs. A DNA sample also has been submitted and tests are complete.

Story from the Muscatine Journal

January 26, 2006

A son’s disappearance … a family’s pain: Nearly 16 years after Robert Kellar’s family last saw him, the Muscatine resident is still missing

By Melissa Regennitter

MUSCATINE, Iowa – Robert Lee Kellar always wanted to be a singer in a rock and roll band. He would hitchhike to California, Colorado and Florida, exploring the United States and chasing that dream.

Muscatine County in Iowa
Muscatine County in Iowa
Muscatine in Muscatine CountyMuscatine in Muscatine County

It has been nearly 16 years since his family has seen him. They haven’t forgotten his outgoing personality and contagious smile.

Now, they just wish they knew what has become of him.

His sister, Stephanie Ruefer, 35, of Muscatine remembers her brother leaving in February 1990.

“He didn’t say where he was going; he was always traveling here and there. He just wanted to do his own thing,” Ruefer said. “We didn’t talk to him much when he was away. Every two to six months, he’d come back, so we weren’t necessarily worried that we hadn’t seen him.”

Kellar was 19 when he left Muscatine for the last time. No one in the family has heard from him since then.

Having problems

Kellar’s mother, Verna Craig, of Muscatine had tears in her eyes when she talked about the boy she remembers and misses deeply. Craig, 57, said her son was having problems and may have been using drugs.

“He wasn’t acting like himself,” Craig said about Kellar’s behavior during the months prior to his disappearance. “I think he was depressed and also had other problems that were hard for him to handle.”

Ruefer reported Kellar missing in 1992, two years after he left on his last cross-country trip. She said the family assumed he would be back. Muscatine police took the report but didn’t find evidence of a crime.

Though they were worried, they waited. Eventually, the family lost hope of his return and grew concerned that something was wrong.

Ruefer has spent many hours searching Web site lists of missing people, wondering about the fate of her brother. A few weeks ago, she took Kellar’s photograph to the Muscatine Police Department in hopes of having the case reopened.

According to Capt. Mike Scott of the Muscatine Police Department, because there was no indication of foul play in the disappearance of Kellar, the investigation concluded that he left the area voluntarily.

In such cases, police enter the information they have into the National Crime Information Center (NCIC), a computerized index of criminal justice information. If Kellar is ever located, the information of his whereabouts will be forwarded to the Muscatine Police Department.

Search network

Scott also passed the case information on to the Doe Network volunteers who search Web sites, news articles and law enforcement agency information looking for connections in missing persons and unidentified persons cases.

The Doe Network functions through a Web site that lists each incident by case number.

Angie Bunch, 31, of Williamsburg, Ky., is the Indiana and Iowa area director. She said the network began with two people in 1999 and now there are more than 580 volunteers. Donations support its operation.

There are 38 missing persons and four unidentified victim cases posted for the state of Iowa on the network’s Web site.

“That is nowhere near the number we should have,” Bunch said.

She encourages interested families to contact the Doe Network to place information about missing persons in the database.

To date, the Doe Network has not solved any Iowa cases. Nationwide, 34 cases have been unraveled, some with the assistance of law enforcement agencies.

According to Bunch, 15 volunteers have already responded to the posting of Kellar’s disappearance. One volunteer told Bunch she had a feeling that she had seen his face in past searches.

That feeling has yet to produce any useful information.

Those in the family of Robert Lee Kellar continue to seek closure to heal the loss and fill the void.

“Honestly, I think he is completely gone — passed away,” Ruefer said. “I can only hope someone, somewhere has a clue to his disappearance. We want to know regardless of the situation.”

Contact Melissa Regennitter at 563-263-2331 Ext. 317 or e-mail:

Information Needed

If you have information regarding Robert Kellar’s unsolved disappearance, please contact Lt. Tim Hull at the Muscatine Police Department at (563) 263-9922 ext. 608.


28 Responses to Robert Kellar

  1. Tammy Douglas says:

    Have they ever checked the unclaimed bodies at the police departments

  2. Tammy Douglas says:

    I don’t think anyone cares about this guy or there would be answers to questions like the phone records just saying

    • Kim says:

      It’s not that nobody cares about this guy, it’s that getting phone records that are over 33 years old would be nearly impossible. Phone companies have changed over the years or even gone defunct, so their records have been destroyed. Unless he called his family collect from wherever he was at, there’s likely no record on the family’s end. IIRC, the only numbers to show up on your bill were long-distance numbers that you made as outgoing calls. Incoming calls weren’t likely noted on the bill unless they were collect calls. Technology in 1990 was nothing like it is now and phones back then were probably landlines and not cellphones.

      This isn’t like a tv show where a mystery is solved in an hour. Investigations take time and resources are often spread thin. That doesn’t mean people don’t care about Mr. Keller. It’s just that there’s not a lot for investigators to go on for leads. If you read the comments, there’s been some folks who’ve mentioned a few John Does that have been found that kind of match Mr. Keller, but all anyone can do is submit the information to the NAMUS page or Doe Network and hope that it gets investigated.

      • Amy says:

        Thank you for responding. You are absolutely correct. There wasn’t social media documenting his adventures. There weren’t cell phones to check in. He didn’t call home. He showed up on our doorstep between his cross country trips. He was a traveler. A dreamer. A hitchhiker without a plan. It’s not that we don’t care. We’ve been on TV. We’ve been in the paper. We share on social media. We search Namus and the Doe Network. Unfortunately, after 34 years it’s hard to believe that he is still alive and hasn’t returned “home” or been seen by any friends or family. We still hope that one day we will have answers.

  3. Tammy says:

    Have they ever looked in the homeless shelters cause he may have stade in one

  4. Tammy says:

    Maybe if one person does one state asking questions and another person asks in another and talks back and forth to each other Maybe we can find him if we get a lot of people asking questions Maybe it would help to find him that would work too so then you can narrow down the search

  5. Tammy says:

    Yes they need to do that too ask these places where he could of been at to become famous if was to and ask around for information to find him too

  6. Tammy says:

    Why doesn’t anyone answer anyone’s questions about this matter

  7. Tammy says:

    Sorry about repeating myself just didn’t realize you were the same website I commented on earlier in the week

  8. Tammy says:

    Sorry about repeating what I asked 2 times just didn’t know if you got my questions

  9. Tammy says:

    So did the police ever check parents phone records to check where he was last at so then you can g from there where he may be at and ask around Florida California New York City just saying you gotta start from where he was last at to find out if anyone has ever seen him since 1990 you gotta check things out

  10. Tammy says:

    I would like to know if the police asked for the parents phone records to see where he last called from to go from there where he might be at cause you could ask people from that last area that he was at if they knew where he was at Did they ever ask around in Florida California and New York City if he was ever even really there plus that would also narrow your search for him

  11. Hoping for new information and closer for the family!!!

  12. I pray someone comes forward, prayers to the families and friends.

  13. Lee says:

    What about the Fort Myers, Florida John Does

  14. Teresa says:

    I checked out the site Jordon referenced as well. She is right there are many similarities.

  15. Jordan says:

    Hello, I am a young woman from Des Moines, Iowa who has become involved with searching the Doe network as I also search for my biological father. I came across this case: I thought to share as there seem to be a few similarities as well as a geographical element of closeness to Muscatine. I sincerely hope the family find the closure they deserve someday, as I know how difficult and painful it is to live without. With hope, Jordan

    • Tammy says:

      Why doesn’t anyone answer any questions on here

      • MikeD says:

        I think it’s because you keep asking a question that people don’t know the answer to. As far as I understand they had not heard from him since he left in 1990 so there probably wasn’t a phone call to have a record of. Also if they got a phone call I assume one of the things they would talk about is where he is at the moment, at minimum what state he is in.

        • Tammy says:

          They could get the phone bill it would say where he called from cause the phone bill would tell them where he was at when He called them

          • Patrick Kerrigan says:

            Tammy. I agree your suggestions. But finding the phone records might be a bit complicated. It might be more helpful, if we could possibly identify if he hooked up with any bands on his travels, seeking to develop a career.

            It might require someone to search in the areas, he was known to visit, abd services if anyone remembers him hanging around certain clubs that might attract someone trying to start a career.

Comment Policy

We encourage thoughtful discussion here but ask that comments remain civilized and constructive … i.e. without personal attacks or name-calling. Be respectful of others and remember that victims' family members visit these pages, too. If you'd like to provide us with information regarding a suspect or have other sensitive details to relay, please email us directly. Thank you in advance.

Share Your Thoughts