Left: Robert circa, 1983
Right: Age Progressed to age 42
Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance
Missing Since: May 14, 1983
Missing From: Campbellsport, Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin
Classification: Non-Family Abduction
Date Of Birth: August 5, 1977
Age: 5 years old
Height and Weight: 4’0″ and 50 pounds
Distinguishing Characteristics: Caucasian Male, Blonde hair, Blue eyes, Robert has a strawberry birthmark on his outer left thigh just up above his knee, at the time of his disappearance, it was approximately two inches by three inches but it may have increased in size since he vanished, it may have a lighter tint of color, he had trouble pronouncing the letters “T, K, and R” when he vanished, Robert May use the nickname “Bobby Joe” but it could also be spelled as “Bobbie Joe”
Clothing/Jewelry Description: A red/blue/gray short sleeved shirt, dark blue pants, and a pair of brown cowboy boots
NCMEC Number: 601377
Details of Disappearance
Robert Joseph Fritz was last seen in Campbellsport, Wisconsin on May 14th 1983. He was last seen playing in a empty lot near his family’s home. He was with his sister and friends at the time.
His sister told authorities that at some point between 2:30 pm and 4:30 pm, Robert said he was hungry and started to set of for his house. Robert never made it to his home and has never been seen or heard from since. Roberts family and friends immediately started to search for him.
Robert was last known to be playing with a toy gun which he was carrying. The toy was later recovered. Authorities immediately started to search for the boy. They initially believed it was possible that Robert possibly drowned in the Milwaukee River or the Mill Pond. Searches have been done but Roberts remains were not found.
Both of Roberts parents were divorced at the time of his disappearance, he had 6 siblings at the time of his disappearance. He lived with his mother and 4 of his siblings on east Main Street on Highway 67 at the time. His father and two of his brothers lived in Illinois at the time.
His father was looked at as a possible suspect in his sons disappearance. He remarried a week after Roberts disappearance. They found no evidence to suggest that Roberts father was involved in any way, his parents were both eventually cleared of any possible involvement in his case.
After no trace of Robert was found, authorities then concluded that Robert was abducted. The prime suspect in Roberts case is Michael Scott Menzer, a sex offender, who was identified as a suspect in the case a year after Roberts abduction.
In 1980, Menzer was convicted of sexually abusing a 10 year old boy and after Robert vanished, authorities excavated Menzer’s property. He lived at the Waldo Mill, a historic building that was located less ten 20 miles away from where Robert was taken. They found boxes of child pornography, they also found news clippings about Roberts kidnapping, and the remains of Children’s clothing and bones.
The bones were subjected to advanced DNA testing in 2017 and were found to be those of an animal which conclusively ruled that they weren’t Roberts. The clothing was also tested but no match was found. There is no evidence connecting Menzer to Roberts abduction.
In 1991, Menzer burned down the Waldo Mill, killing his two stepsons while doing so. He had been previously charged with sexually assaulting the boys but was later acquitted. He was convicted with the arson murders in 1992 and was sentenced to 40 years in prison. He died in 2008 at the age of 59. He never cooperated in the investigation into Fritz’s disappearance.
Roberts case remains unsolved. His father has since passed away and his mother moved out of the local area after his disappearance. He has never been found and authorities suspect that he was kidnapped on the day of his disappearance.
If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
Fond Du Lac County Sheriffs Office 803-642-1761