Left and Right: James circa, 1987
Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance
Missing Since: December 20, 1987
Missing From: Titusville, Brevard County, Florida
Classification: Lost, Injured Missing
Date Of Birth: June 17, 1975
Age: 12 years old
Height and Weight: 4’9″ and 62 pounds
Distinguishing Characteristics: White Male, Brown hair, Brown eyes, James might use the nickname “Jamie”
Details of Disappearance
James was last seen in Titusville, Florida on December 20th 1987. He and his 39 year old father, James Matthew Meulemans, left Port Canaveral at approximately 6:30 am on a fishing expedition in a 21 foot gas powered Chris Craft Boat. The captain of the boat was John Degroes and there was also one additional passenger, Frank Doherty.
They were only meant to be gone for 12 hours and were supposed to return by the time night reached. The boat never returned to shore. On December 26th, the body of John Degroes was found about 12 miles off Daytona Beach. In January of 1988, the body of James Meulemans was found washed ashore. No trace of James and Frank were never found.
Investigators have not been able to determine how the boat ran into trouble. John was an experienced sew captain who led multiple fishing trips. The Meulemans were regular fisherman on his boat. The waters were fine on that day and nothing has suggested a weather related incident. The boat was never found despite extensive searches for it. The boat did have a radio but no one received any distress calls that day.
At the time of his disappearance, James was a student at Westridge Middle School and was to attend a Christmas dancing program at Walt Disney World the Monday after his disappearance. He was described as intelligent, and full of energy. He was always happy and was full of life. He also loved to fish.
James and Doherty have never been found and investigators believe they are deceased.
If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
Brevard County Sheriffs Office 321-264-5217