Left and Center: Jeremy circa, 1986
Right: Age Progressed to age 48
Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance
Missing Since: August 14, 1986
Missing From: Myrtle Point, Coos County, Oregon
Classification: Non-Family Abduction
Date Of Birth: May 25, 1972
Age: 14 years old
Height and Weight: 6’0″ and 140 pounds
Distinguishing Characteristics: Caucasian Male, Brown hair, Green eyes, Jeremy had a broken index finger at the time of his 1986 disappearance, he has scars on his forehead and nose, his feet were big for his age and he wore a size 13 shoe, he has a mole located on his chin
Clothing/Jewelry Description: A black windbreaker jacket, a red tank top, blue nylon shorts, and a pair of black Nike sneakers with red laces
NCMEC Number: 600424
Details of Disappearance
Jeremy was last seen in Myrtle Point, Oregon on August 14th 1986. During that month, the Coos County Fair came to the area. Jeremy and his 10 year old sister, S’te, came to the area to attend it. They both stayed with their stepfather, Olie, while they were in the area. Jeremy called his mother that day from a pay phone outside of McKay’s Market and told her he was going to the fair at approximately 4:45 pm.
Jeremy went to the fair with a close friend, Johnny Fish. Several people reported seeing Jeremy and Johnny at the fair together. Jeremy was supposed to meet S’te at a Ferris wheel, but he never arrived and she never saw him again. At 9:40 pm, Jeremy went to a local tavern that his grandmother owned to meet Olie. He gave Jeremy a few dollars and then Jeremy left.
Jeremy was never seen or heard from again. Two days later, his mother, Diane, came to pick Jeremy and S’te up. Jeremy was not home and when he didn’t return home that night, Diane contacted the police. Authorities initially suspected Jeremy was a runaway and possibly left to join the fair. They originally ruled out foul play since there were reported sightings of Jeremy in the local area after he went missing.
However, Jeremy’s family and friends maintained he would never do such a thing and he had no reason to leave on his own. After much time passed, investigators began to suspect foul play was involved in the case. Jeremy also left behind his wallet, keys, and his new watch. He was close to his sister and didn’t take any extra personal belongings with him when he disappeared.
Various rumors swirled around regarding Jeremy’s disappearance. During the same week that the Fair was in the area, there were several parties held in the area. Investigators were able to locate a witness who placed Jeremy at two of those parties that week. It was rumored that Jeremy was offered a beer that was laced with a powerful, illegal drug and that he died of a drug overdose.
It’s also possible Jeremy had a heart murmur which caused him to die. Investigators believe he possibly died at one of the parties he attended and that the other participants at the party disposed of his body to avoid any possible legal troubles. This has not been confirmed but investigators believe Jeremy died on the same day he disappeared. S’te recalls seeing her brother speaking with two unknown males before his disappearance.
An anonymous jail source told an even more gruesome and disturbing story about what happened to Jeremy that night. The man told investigators that three local teenagers showed up to a local swimming hole and began to harass Jeremy and his friends. One of the teens had a gun with him and began shooting at Jeremy for “target practice.” He ended up shooting Jeremy and seriously wounding him.
The three teenagers took him to a local cabin and attempted to nurse him back to health. Jeremy didn’t survive and succumbed to his wound sometime later. The teenagers buried Jeremy’s body in the woods near the cabin. Authorities did search the surrounding areas of the cabin but found no trace of Jeremy or his remains.
When investigators spoke with Johnny’s sister, Cecilia, she told them something very disturbing. She stated that the day after Jeremy disappeared, she was leaving a friends sisters apartment with her friend when they ran into a neighborhood teenager. The boy was covered in blood on his clothing. They asked him what had happened and he said “this happened hours ago” and laughed before entering another apartment.
A half an hour later, Johnny returned to his other sisters apartment. He appeared to be terrified and was visibly shaking. He refused to say what was causing him to be so scared. Investigators haven’t named any suspects in Jeremy’s disappearance but they do have 3 to 4 individuals in mind.
There have been many theories in Jeremy’s case. It’s was once considered that he might’ve been abducted by a carnival worker who was at the Fair in 1986 or that he might’ve been killed by a local and dumped in a pond. Investigators have stated that many people of interest have not been cleared because they refused to cooperate.
Jeremy’s former babysitter, Terry Lee Steinhoff, is a strong person of interest in Jeremy’s disappearance. He was convicted in the stabbing death of a Coos County woman in January of 1988 and was sentenced to life in prison. He was questioned in relation to Jeremy’s disappearance and refused to cooperate in the investigation. Witnesses recall seeing Jeremy sitting with him in a truck on the night he disappeared.
Investigators searched Terry’s former property for Jeremy’s remains but found nothing. They searched other possible regions that Terry might’ve put Jeremy in but nothing was found that could link Terry to Jeremy’s presumed murder. He died in prison in 2007. S’te feels someone in Myrtle Point knows what happened fo her brother and hopes they come forward.
Jeremy lived in Grant Pass, Oregon with his mother and sister at the time of his disappearance. His grades in school went down during the year before he disappeared and his mother puts it off to him getting used to the new school environment. His mother and stepfather were going through a divorce and he might’ve been somewhat troubled as a result.
Jeremy was described as a popular and likable teenager in 1986 and was a star basketball player. He was looking forward to staring high school in the fall of 1986. His family believes he is dead and held a memorial for him in August of 2011. His mother and investigators believe his remains are somewhere in Coos County. His case remains unsolved and is classified as an abduction due to lack of evidence.
If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
Coos County Sheriffs Office 541-396-3121
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children