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Missing Richard Dean Roberts
Roberts, circa 1995
Missing Since 02/01/1995
Classification Endangered Missing
Date of Birth Used 06/08/1917 (103)
Age 75 years old
Height and Weight 6'0, 220 - 270 pounds
Distinguishing Characteristics Caucasian male. Graying red hair, brown eyes. Roberts's nickname is Dick. He may use the alias names Chester Roberts, Dean Roberts, Dean Thayer, Dick Thayer and/or Richard Thayer. He is a chain-smoker.
Details of Disappearance Roberts was last seen in Hayden, Colorado on February 1, 1995. He had been mayor of the town for about three years.
At 8:30 p.m. that day, Roberts told the town clerk he would be unable to attend the council's bi-monthly meeting later that week. After speaking to her, he went and had a cup of coffee at a local restaurant. He has never been heard from again.
When authorities checked Roberts's home in the 300 block of west Lincoln Avenue, they found no evidence that he'd planned to be gone for an extended period.
On February 27, a rancher found Roberts's gray and white 1991 extended cab Ford pickup truck on private property in a desert area in Grand County, Utah, near the Colorado state line and not far from Grand Junction, Colorado, where Roberts's ex-wife and children lived.
The truck was parked about 100 feet offroad in a clump of trees, as if whoever put it there didn't want it to be found. There were three indistinct footprints nearby, and inside the truck were a pair of boots and a jacket. All but one of the sets of fingerprints on the vehicle have been accounted for and there were no indications of foul play.
The truck was the last trace of Roberts. It was parked twelve miles from the nearest highway, and his loved ones can't think of a reason why he would have gone there.
One theory is that Roberts took his own life. He suffered from seasonal depression and he was out of work and in debt at the time of his disappearance, he was reportedly drinking heavily, and he was having problems with his girlfriend.
He was only paid about $100 a month for being mayor, and he hadn't worked any of his secondary jobs since October 1994. There is little evidence to support suicide or any other theory, however.
Roberts was born in Cody, Wyoming, but he grew up in Colorado and graduated high school in the city of Craig. He worked as a truck driver and construction worker and is described as a quiet, shy man.
He and his wife divorced in 1988 after a sixteen-year marriage, but they remained in close contact. He has two daughters and one stepdaughter, all of whom were young adults in 1995. His case remains unsolved.
Investigating Agency / Department