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Thread: Randall Dean Leach, 20, last seen November 7, 1980 Idaho

  1. #1

    colors Randall Dean Leach, 20, last seen November 7, 1980 Idaho

    Police asking for help in cold case

    Law enforcement agencies from three states are asking for the public’s help with a 35-year-old cold case.

    Randall Dean Leach, a native of Sheboygan County, left Wisconsin on Nov. 1, 1980. He was hitchhiking to his sister’s home in Bend, Oregon.

    Leach was last seen the morning of Nov. 7, 1980, walking away from a dairy farm in Idaho Falls, Idaho. He was reported missing to Oregon State Police on Feb. 2, 1981.

    Randall’s father back in Wisconsin, Richard Leach, developed a friendship with one of the investigators at the time Randall went missing. This relationship has helped investigators get Randall’s dental records and DNA samples from family, according to Oregon State Police.

    Randall Leach would be 55 years old.

    He’s described as:

    White male
    5’8″ tall
    About 140-160 pounds
    Brown hair
    Blue eyes
    Oregon State Police say they have never received information that he reached his final destination of Bend or that he ever made it to Oregon.

    Investigators have uploaded the dental records to a national registry and submitted DNA samples to build a profile for the nationwide system.

    Here are ways to submit tips or information in the Randall Leach disappearance:


    Corey Norlander, Detective

    Sheboygan Co. Sheriff’s Office

    525 N. 6th St.

    Sheboygan, WI 53081

    Office Phone: 920-459-3859

    Crimestoppers at: or text SCTIP to 274637 (CRIMES) or call 1-877-CUF-THEM


    Northern Command Center (NCC) 503-375-3555 reference OSP case # SP15-348371


    Bonneville County Sheriff’s Office (208) 529-1200

    Bonneville / Idaho Falls Crime Stoppers (208) 522-1983 or

  2. #2

    Default Re: Randall Dean Leach, 20, last seen November 7 1981 Idaho


    Status Missing

    First name Randall

    Middle name Dean

    Last name Leach

    Date last seen November 07, 1980 16:24

    Date entered 06/09/2010

    Age last seen 20 to 20 years old

    Age now 55 years old

    Race White


    Sex Male

    Height (inches) 68.0 to 69.0

    Weight (pounds) 140.0 to 160.0

    City Idaho Falls
    State Idaho
    County Bonneville

    Circumstances: Randy was hitchhiking from his family's home in Sheboygan, WI to a relatives home in Bend, OR. Randy was last seen in the Idaho Falls, ID area on Nov. 7, 1980.

    Brown hair
    Blue eyes

    Pierced ear.
    Previously Fractured Left Clavicle.

    I already asked if the title of this thread could be changed, the year should be 1980, instead of 1981.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Randall Dean Leach, 20, last seen November 7 1981 Idaho

    Article July 28, 1982

    The Deseret News

    Father in S.L. to look for son

    Randy Leach is 22 years old as of Wednesday. His father and grandfather are in Salt Lake City searching for Randy, who last called his family Nov. 6, 1980 from Idaho Falls.

    When last seen, Randall D. Leach was 20 years old, 5 feet 8 inches tall and weighted 140 pounds.

    He has brown hair and blue eyes. He told his family he planned to hitchhike to his sister's home in Bend, Ore., but he never arrived there, and his family has heard nothing from him since.

    His father, Dick Leach of Sheboygan Falls, Wis., said the last person to have talked with Randy in Idaho Falls thought he was heading for Klamath Falls, Ore.

    His family has searched the Northtwest and northern California, trying to pick up his trail, but has found nothing.

    Now they are looking in Salt Lake City and the Mountain West, which lie between Idaho Falls and San Francisco, another place Randy said he wanted to visit.

    Leach said his son stayed with A Latter-day Saint family in Idaho Falls and worked on their dairy farm.
    "Even though he was only there two days, the family shared with us their very vivid memories of him" Leach said.

    "They had missionaries come over, and Randy asked them a lot of questions"he said.

    He was on a spiritual search. It's a possibility he wanted to come to Salt Lake City to visit the temple ".

    Leach and Randy's grandfather, John Leach, Rapid City S.D., said they are hoping Randy's outgoing personality is fresh in other people's memories as well.

    An honor student who won a $10,000 scholarship, Randy spent nine months studying in Kenya, returning to the United States in December 1979.,7311974&hl=nl

  4. #4

    Default Re: Randall Dean Leach, 20, last seen November 7 1981 Idaho

    Article from the Spokesman Review.

    July 16, 1982

    Father vows to carry on search for missing son.

    Pocatello, Idaho ( AP)

    Driven by love Dick Leach vows to continue the search for his son, Randy, who was last seen nearly two years ago in Idaho Falls.

    A Methodist minister who teaches philosophy and religion at Lakeland College in Wisconsin, Leach said he'll continue to search until he's tried everything.

    Randy, he speculated, may have been on a spiritual quest in 1980 when he hitchhiked west from Sheboygan to Bend, Oregon.

    Among his possessions were an address book, poncho and bible.

    Where he went from Idaho Falls is anyone's guess.
    Born in 1960, Randy was on his way to his sister's home in Bent, Oregon, but when he telephoned his mother on Nov.6, 1980 (the last time either of his parents heard his voice) he mentioned he was going to northern California first.

    "We learned just yesterday that he had told a plant manager at a dairy farm in Idaho Falls that he wanted to go to Klamath Falls" his father said Friday. "Either way, he probably would have come through this (Pocatello) area."

    "Randy apparently talked with LDS missionaries in Idaho Falls, but he seemed to have decided he wasn't ready for further inquiry into the Mormon faith."

    If Randy is still alive, his father and grandfather, John V. Leach, believe he may have joined a religious cult.

    If he isn't alive, they at least want to know his remains have been positively identified.

    Leach described his son as fearless, outgoing, adventuresome and travel-loving.

    Born in Denver, Colorado, Randy was raised in South Dakota and Wisconsin.

    While attending high scool at Howards Grove, Wisconsin, he won an $11,000 scholarship from the National Association for Secondary School Principals.,530857&hl=nl

  5. #5

    Default Re: Randall Dean Leach, 20, last seen November 7, 1980 Idaho

    I wonder if he ever left that dairy farm alive.

    He spoke to his mother the 6th, saying he was going to northern California, next morning he was gone, and two years later a plant manager tells the father Randy wanted to visit Klamath Falls, Oregon.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Randall Dean Leach, 20, last seen November 7, 1980 Idaho

    Very cold case: Wisconsin man disappeared near Idaho Falls while hitchhiking in 1980

    Looking at grisly photos of dead bodies is not the worst part for Renaye Leach.

    Periodically, for decades, investigators have contacted her with information about and pictures of unidentified dead men to see whether she recognizes her missing brother.

    The worst part is all of the “what ifs.” What if he was hurt? What if he was attacked by an animal? What if he suffered from amnesia and is still alive, not knowing who he is?

    The questions have no answers. No one knows what happened to Randy Leach after Nov. 7, 1980, when he was last seen near an Idaho Falls dairy farm.

    “We know so much about the horrible, horrible, horrible things that happen to people,” Renaye Leach said. “You start to think about every horrible death that could have possibly happened to him.”

    With almost no leads from the initial investigation, the only thing Bonneville County Sheriff Paul Wilde can say for sure is that no one on the farm hurt Leach. With no suspects and no trail, all that’s known is that Leach left the farm after staying there for two days.

    A renewed effort to develop a clue about Leach’s disappearance is being led by Wisconsin’s Sheboygan County Sheriff’s Office in conjunction with the Bonneville County Sheriff’s Office and the Oregon State Police. The hope is to spark someone’s memory of the young man, at the time 20 years old, and lead to some undiscovered angle in his disappearance.

    The Oregon State Police issued a news release Nov. 6 asking for the public’s help with information about the case.

    Leach had blue eyes and a shock of wavy brown hair. At the time of his disappearance he was hitchhiking from his Wisconsin home to Bend, Ore., to visit Renaye.

    He made stops in South Dakota to visit his grandmother before staying at the farm near Idaho Falls while Renaye and her husband settled into their new home in Oregon. Leach worked on the farm for a couple of days before grabbing a ride from the landowner to a junction so he could hitchhike to his sister’s house.

    Thanksgiving of that year, Nov. 27, came and went, and Randy Leach was nowhere to be found.

    The last time he spoke to any family members was when he called his mother to wish her a happy birthday on Nov. 6, 1980.

    “It seemed very strange. Randy would never do this to our family,” Renaye Leach said.


    Wilde was working as a deputy when Leach was reported missing. Wilde didn’t respond to the initial call and hadn’t thought much about the case until he recently was contacted by Sheboygan officials.

    Wilde tried to pull up the original detective’s notes from the 1980 case but found only blank microfiche — an old form of storing documents and photographs viewed using a special machine.

    “All we have now are clippings from the Deseret News,” Wilde said.

    At the time the Bonneville County Sheriff’s Office was the only agency investigating the case.

    Oregon State Police Sgt. Keith Taylor said his agency was contacted back in 1980 to see whether Leach was seen at his destination in Bend.

    “We put out the initial missing person report,” Taylor said. “But our part was really limited.”

    The reports from the Deseret News depict a desperate and loving father, Dick Leach, tirelessly looking for information about his son’s whereabouts. In an August 1982 article, Dick Leach told the paper that he received a call from someone claiming to be his son. Dick Leach told the paper he didn’t think the call was authentic.

    “He is now issuing a new appeal for the person to call again and either say it was a hoax or tell him the name of the family’s dog,” the newspaper reported.

    Renaye Leach said her father and grandfather searched the Idaho Falls farm but found nothing. The owner of the farm told them that Leach had left a backpack behind containing several articles of clothing.

    Wilde said the farmer and his farmhands were all interviewed and cleared of any possible wrongdoing. He said he knew the lead detective, Clyde Burgess, and his custom was to vet every interview and make sure nothing was missed. Leach seemed to have just packed up and continued his trip, Wilde said.

    “There was nothing to indicate anything was going on there or foul play, just that he (Leach) moved on,” Wilde said.

    Wilde said this is one of several cases in the region that he would like to see solved.

    “The rule is do not get emotionally involved,” Wilde said. “But we suffer. We never feel exactly what the family is feeling ... but they never get that closure because they never got to say goodbye.”

    Corey Norlander, Sheboygan County Sheriff’s Office detective, said he could not comment on the case because he is actively investigating it.


    Leach had never embarked on a hitchhiking journey, but he had a nomadic spirit.

    He spent time studying in Kenya, returning in December 1979. Many months later he decided to thumb his way to Oregon.

    Renaye Leach said her brother was an idealist. He was an honors student who won a $10,000 scholarship to Friends World College in New York, the Deseret News reported in July 1982.

    But when he came back from Africa, Renaye Leach noticed a change.

    “He was kind of disillusioned; that maybe political will didn’t help the people,” she said.

    He stopped college his freshman year to head west.

    Renaye Leach said her brother wanted to “help heal the world” and was trying to find a job with the United Nations before embarking for Oregon. He studied social justice issues his first year of school but did not have a major yet, Renaye Leach said.

    The Deseret News described Leach as “fearless, outgoing, adventuresome and travel-loving.”

    Renaye Leach said he was a talented musician and could sit down at a piano and create songs on the spot.

    “He was just a really great guy,” she said. “It’s just so sad for us to have such a short time with him.”

    About five years ago Renaye Leach and her sister were swabbed for DNA to create a genetic profile for comparison if a body investigators think could be their brother’s is ever found. He is listed on the national missing persons website with all his identifiable information.

    Renaye Leach said it’s impossible for her to make peace with her brother’s absence until something is found. She said there have been few tips.

    When Leach vanished, people didn’t even have cellphones. When something like that happens today, social networking is used to blast a report across the Internet instantly. But Leach’s case essentially went cold before anyone knew there was cause for concern.

    “We never got tips; no one ever called,” Renaye Leach said. “We did as much as we could to solicit tips, but there was hardly anything.”

    Anyone with information regarding Randy Leach’s disappearance is asked to call the Bonneville County Sheriff’s Office at (208) 529-1200 or Crime Stoppers at (208) 522-1983, or go to

    FBI data show that as of December 2012, there were 87,217 missing persons across the U.S. As of Oct. 1, 2014, about 7,537 missing person cases have been resolved with help from the National Center of Missing and Unidentified Persons System since its inception in July 2007. In California alone there are 2,031 missing people whose cases remain active, according to The Charlie Project, a website database of missing persons.

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