Marc James-Warren Allen

Left and Center: Marc circa, 1986

Right: Age Progressed to age 43

Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance

Missing Since: March 29, 1986

Missing From: Des Moines, Polk County, Iowa

Classification: Non-Family Abduction

Date Of Birth: May 13, 1972

Age: 13 years old

Height and Weight: 5’0″ and 85 pounds

Distinguishing Characteristics: Caucasian Male, Brown hair, Blue eyes, Marc has a small scar on the top of his head, he might spell his name as Marc James Allen and might spell his first name as Mark

Clothing/Jewelry Description: A light blue t-shirt, blue denim shorts, white socks, and a pair of gray sneakers with Velcro fastenings

NCMEC Number: 1053047

Details of Disappearance

Marc was last seen in Des Moines, Iowa on March 29th 1986. He was last seen leaving his house on southwest Emma Avenue after telling his mother, Nancy Allen, that he was going to walk to a friends home. He asked her to save home some pizza for him to eat once he returned home.

Nancy said she watched her son walk down the sidewalk and past the bushes. He never arrived to his friends home and he was never seen or heard from again. Nancy didn’t realize her son was missing until the next morning when she realized he never came back home the previous night.

She was initially hoping that he wasn’t actually missing. She thought that Marc might have come home that night and woke up before everyone and walked to his grandmothers home since she would have water baskets for all of the kids. She called her mother but Marc wasn’t there.

She immediately called the police to report her sons disappearance but she was told that she would need to wait 48 hours before reporting his disappearance. The initial thought was that Marc left on his own accord. He was somewhat of a “handful” and apparently had no common sense and bad behavior problems.

Nancy felt the original investigation was mishandled because she thought police didn’t want to scare the residents of Des Moines with another missing teenaged boy. It’s been considered that Marcs disappearance could be connected to the disappearances of two other Des Moines boys.

In September of 1982, John Gosch, 12, was abducted by unknown individuals as he walked home from delivering newspapers. He was seen several times after his apparent abduction. In August of 1984, Eugene Martin, 13, disappeared while he was delivering newspapers in the same area as John. He’s presumed abducted.

Investigators found no evidence that the cases were connected. They have received many leads in relation to Marc’s disappearance. They checked out his father who lived in Minnesota at the time and his paternal grandmother who lived in Connecticut. He was with neither of them.

Investigators have since revised the theory that Marc was a runaway and are looking at other possibilities for how he disappeared. His disappearance has been reclassified as an abduction and it’s considered this is what occurred.

When Marc was 7 months old, he was raised by his grandmother until he reached the age of 4 1/2. He went to live with Nancy in Des Moines after that until he was 10 years old. He then moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota to live with his father. He moved back with his mother in January of 1985. He was described as an intelligent child and a good student.

Marc’s case remains unsolved and there’s been no trace of him since 1986.

Investigating Agency

If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:

Des Moines Police Department 515-283-4811

Source Information

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children

The Charley Project

The Doe Network


Iowa Cold Cases