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  1. #1

    NY - Joseph Helt, 17, Ellenville, 16 Jan 1987


    Joseph David Helt

    Endangered Missing from Ellenville, New York since January 16, 1987

    Age: 17 -- Height: 5'9" -- Weight: 150 lbs -- Hair Color: Blonde -- Eye Color: Brown


    Joseph was last seen near Sam's Point ice caves in Ellensville, New York on January 16, 1987. He was driving in the area with three friends when the car got stuck in snow at approximately 3:00 am. He left his friends in the car and went to get help. He has never been heard from again.


    NCMEC

    Charley Project

  2. #2
    What Happened to Joe Helt?
    Missing Teen Still Haunts Village After 24 Years

    The flyers began appearing in Ellenville storefront windows shortly before the holidays. The flyers contain two faded images of a smiling teenager who went missing January 16, 1987, never to be found. But those who actually knew the missing teen, Joe Helt, haven't forgotten about him.

    Helt's disappearance, in fact, remains an open wound for those relatives and friends of his still living in the Ellenville community — so much so that several of them have gotten together and started a Facebook group. The group, called "In Support of Joe Helt," now has more than 300 members, many of whom have posted messages remembering Joe. The group, in fact, is planning a candlelight vigil to be held at the Pioneer Fire Hall Sunday, January16, at 5 p.m., the twenty-foutrh anniversary of Joe's disappearance. And all of them appear to want only one thing: to know what, exactly, happened to Joe on Mount Cathalia that cold January night more than two decades ago. They hope to find something — anything — that would allow them to put to rest this sad episode of local history.

    Much more: http://www.shawangunkjournal.com/201...s/1101130.html

  3. #3
    Joe was shown in a short clip on Nancy Grace, America's Missing.

    http://cnn.com/video/?/video/crime/2...issing.two.hln

  4. #4
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    Links to recent newspaper/cable news stories about Joe's case

    A group of us who went to high school with Joe have gotten together to work on a media campaign to bring awareness for Joe's case. I've included links to all of the recent newspaper, cable news and other stories that have been done on Joe's case. We even got NBC in NYC and Nancy Grace! We're currently working with a producer from CBS, the producers of Telco Production's show "Missing" and three different internet radio blog shows!!

    For anyone interested in more info about Joe's case, here are the links to the facebook pages and the website we've set up for Joe:

    http://forjoehelt.webs.com/
    http://www.facebook.com/Justice.For.Joe.Helt
    http://www.facebook.com/home.php?sk=...217368108&ap=1

    Here are all of the newspaper/cable news stories:

    Nancy Grace‘s “America’s Missing: 50 people in 50 days”:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xVJnVvCNzME

    NBC (NYC) news segment:
    http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local...116025154.html

    NBC (NYC) VIDEO segment:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J0hD7baDT3s

    YNN Hudson Valley News Channel 6 coverage (4 stories):
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=snfCBxLrY38
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=geiEk6xZ6BQ
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xf0QTHzk1ic
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_1Lgj0xABmE


    Shawangunk Journal article:
    http://www.shawangunkjournal.com/201...s/1101130.html
    http://www.ellenvillejournal.com/201...s/1101203.html


    Times Herald Record articles:
    http://www.recordonline.com/apps/pbc...WS%2F101150324
    http://www.recordonline.com/apps/pbc...WS%2F101170325

    Times Herald Record photos:
    http://www.recordonline.com/apps/pbc...6009997&Ref=PH

    Poughkeepsie Journal article:
    http://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/a...sing-classmate

    Blue Stone Press article:
    http://www.facebook.com/album.php?id...293&aid=111979

    1987 Times Herald Record articles:
    http://www.facebook.com/album.php?id...293&aid=111570


    On January 16, 2011, the 24th anniversary of Joe's disappearance, we held a candlelight vigil. Here are several videos of the vigil:

    Candlelight Vigil footage:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5wdflR6bMnE
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bvtnCuoF2u4
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YysWjbyRqQM
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f265u2eQu7U
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9LiBVH9RrVU
    Last edited by KateB; 04-26-2015 at 12:28 PM. Reason: repair url tags.

  5. #5
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    JOSEPH HELT missing for 24 years

    Joseph Helt was my friend and classmate back in 1987. We were Juniors in high school at Ellenville High School in Ellenville NY, which is a small, rural, typical little village in the Hudson Valley. It's quiet, pretty, everyone knows everyone and the school, grades K-12 are located in the same building (though large door separate the elementary from the junior/high school). Nothing big ever happens in Ellenville and everyone likes it that way.

    But back in January 1987, something big did happen. Joe disappeared. Simply vanished without a trace. And for 24 years his disappearance has haunted the small village of Ellenville.

    Joe was just 17 years old. It was on Friday, January 16, 1987 and just another typical Friday night. Like so many Fridays before, Joe and many other teenagers from Ellenville were going up to the usual party spot, the old Mount Cathalia ski lodge. It was in Cragsmoor, just 5 miles outside of Ellenville. The ski lodge had been long ago abandoned, having been partially burned in the 1970's. But the building itself remained intact and the area kids built a huge fire pit inside of the building and used it as a party spot.

    So Joe went up to Mount Cathalia on Jan. 16, 1987 as he had so many other times. Many classmates were there that night. He hung out for a while, spent time with different people and at one point he approached his best friend, Armando Rodriguez, for a ride home. Armando, unfortunately, had to turn Joe down as he had driven up in a borrowed pick up truck and didn't have anymore room in the truck that night as several others were already getting a ride with him. Looking back, Armando says that Joe was extremely nervous and almost seemed desperate to get a ride with him.

    Joe then got into a car belonging to John LaForge, a 21 year old who often hung around with the younger kids. Along with them that night were Wade Marks, 17, and Kelly Diaz, 16. As Joe left the party, that was the last time any of his friends would see him again.

    According to the Marks, Diaz and LaForge, they claim that they went for a ride down a road not far from the party called Sam's Point Road. They claim that the car got stuck in a ditch and that after several failed attempts to get the car out, Joe got upset and left the car to walk the 5+ miles back to Ellenville. By this time it was around 3am in the middle of January. 20 minutes later, Marks and Diaz left to walk the 2+ miles to Marks house (which was not far from the original party at Mt. Cathalia in Cragsmoor) and 10 minutes later LaForge left to walk the 2+ miles to his house which was also there in Cragsmoor. NOW it makes absolutely NO sense that Joe would walk 5+ miles back to Ellenville when two of these guys lived a little over 2 miles away AND people were STILL at the party where he could have walked back to! Their story has never added up.

    On January 17th when Joe failed to show up for his shift at the Napanoch Auction Barn in Napanoch, his boss, Vic, called his mother, Lee Ann. Lee Ann checked around for Joe and when it became apparent that Joe was nowhere to be found, she contacted Ellenville Police. The police and rescue workers soon scoured the Cragsmoor area looking for Joe.

    Unfortunately, as the rescue workers made it up to the mountain a major snow storm was moving into the area. Over the next several days, over 2 feet of snow fell which hampered the search. Rescue workers worked through the storm for 6 days searching for any trace of Joe but nothing was ever found. They called off the search after 6 days saying that if Joe was up there on the mountain, there was no way he could possibly survive. Search teams did go back up on the mountain in the spring after the snow melted and the ground thawed, but no trace of Joe was ever found.

    Marks, Diaz and LaForge say that the last time they saw Joe he was walking away from them when the car got stuck in the ditch. That was 24 years ago and Joe's case has gone cold. Rumors have flown all around the Village of Ellenville over the years pointing toward the three. There have been several people who have come forward with information that contradicts the story told by these three, however, as it is 3rd party information, it cannot be used in the investigation. We've had one woman who have heard Diaz himself talking to her ex husband say that the story of the car being stuck in the ditch was just a cover story.

    We've recently found out that Marks REFUSED to be polygraphed. This is interesting, especially since the lead investigator has told us repeatedly that all three were polygraphed and passed! Now, within weeks of Joe's disappearance Marks was packed up and mysteriously shipped to Tennessee to live with his mother. His father professed that it was because he couldn't stand the accusations anymore. Marks has never returned to Ellenville to this day. We know he's still in Hamilton County, Tennessee. Diaz jumped on the facebook group we created for Joe in Dec. 2010 spewing in a huge rant that made absolutely no sense at all. He repeated jumped on via one friend's account after another, posted the rant then deleted it. Over and over again.

    We have a very mysterious thing happening with Joe's missing persons flyers. In a grocery store in town, they are constantly being torn down, sometimes within an hour of us posting them. Other times someone writes "Ask JP" on them (John LaForge's nickname was "JP"). When we held a candlelight vigil on the 24 anniversary of Joe's disappearance, we put up posters all over the street that the high school is on. By the next day, EVERY single poster had been torn down except for TWO and the two that remained were the ones that could be seen by the security cameras from the high school.


    Joe's case is currently being looked into by NYS Investigator Thomas Fortuna. In October 2010 Joe's case was registered with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (he was never listed prior to this!). His case was just listed in April 2011 on the NYS Police website's list of missing persons (again, he was NEVER listed here prior to this!). A spokesman for the NYS Police stated in an NBC interview that the three who were with Joe that night were never suspects. (a link to this interview is listed below). It is just unreal the way that Joe's case has been mishandled and simply pushed aside time after time.

    In November 2010, myself and several Ellenville HS classmates were looking into planning a multi-year reunion and they began talking about Joe, wondering if any new information has ever come to light about his case. After some research and a lot of conversation, we realized that since Joe's case was recently being looked into again, now was the perfect time to start raising awareness for his case. So we created a facebook support group for Joe and started pushing to gain media attention for Joe's case. Many local area newspapers and cable news outlets did stories on Joe. NBC in NYC and even Nancy Grace covered Joe's story!

    However, Joe's case still remains unsolved. We need help. We need someone to help really open up Joe's case and get to the heart of the facts.

    For more info on Joe's case, check out the facebook pages or the website:
    http://www.facebook.com/home.php?sk=...60089217368108
    http://www.facebook.com/Justice.For.Joe.Helt
    http://forjoehelt.webs.com/

    Here are some of the newspapers/cable news stories about Joe's case, including the 1987 news articles:

    Nancy Grace‘s “America’s Missing: 50 people in 50 days”:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xVJnVvCNzME

    NBC (NYC) news segment:
    http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local...116025154.html

    NBC (NYC) VIDEO segment:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J0hD7baDT3s

    Blog Talk Radio:
    Bring Them Home Now Radio:
    http://forjoehelt.webs.com/apps/vide...log-talk-radio

    CUBANARAMA Radio:
    http://forjoehelt.webs.com/apps/vide...log-talk-radio

    YNN Hudson Valley News Channel 6 coverage (4 stories):
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=snfCBxLrY38
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=geiEk6xZ6BQ
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xf0QTHzk1ic
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_1Lgj0xABmE



    Shawangunk Journal article:
    http://www.shawangunkjournal.com/201...s/1101130.html
    http://www.ellenvillejournal.com/201...s/1101203.html


    Times Herald Record articles:
    http://www.recordonline.com/apps/pbc...WS%2F101150324
    http://www.recordonline.com/apps/pbc...WS%2F101170325

    Times Herald Record photos:
    http://www.recordonline.com/apps/pbc...6009997&Ref=PH

    Poughkeepsie Journal article:
    http://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/a...sing-classmate

    Blue Stone Press article:
    http://www.facebook.com/album.php?id...293&aid=111979

    1987 Times Herald Record articles:
    http://www.facebook.com/album.php?id...293&aid=111570
    Last edited by KateB; 04-26-2015 at 12:26 PM. Reason: repair url tags.

  6. #6
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    Last edited by KateB; 04-26-2015 at 12:27 PM. Reason: repair url tag.

  7. #7
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    WE ARE HOSTING A CANDLELIGHT VIGIL ON THE 25TH ANNIVERSARY OF JOE'S DISAPPEARANCE:

    Mon., Jan 16, 2012 6-9pm at the Pioneer Fire Hall, 73 Center Street, Ellenville NY 12428

    RSVP at: https://www.facebook.com/events/325006170854509/

  8. #8
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    For more information on Joe's case, please check out the following pages:

    Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Justice.For.Joe.Helt?sk=info
    Website: http://forjoehelt.webs.com/
    Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/JusticeForJoeH
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/forjoehelt/

  9. #9
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    Reading the old articles from 1987 is troubling. The apathy and lack of passion in the quotes from the authorities and searchers is disturbing. As if "well we looked, we couldn't find him, he’s up there somewhere but....." And then little or no concern expressed for follow up or their next plan of action. (I don't think they had one) No further investigative reporting from media either. What a combo. The kid never had a chance. Ok, the case may have turned cold but if the efforts in the following years were anything like the ones in the early days no wonder there has been no resolution. I am glad to read that some of his old classmates and new investigators have revived interest in this case. This boy deserves to be found. If his death was an accident he deserves to be found for proper burial. If he was the victim of a crime he deserves justice. He was just a teenage boy. If they supposedly searched and searched something would have been found eventually. Ok they didn't find him....so I have not read anything regarding their theories as to what they think happened. Other than he fell in a crevice or off a cliff. What goes up must come down somewhere. A boy goes up a mountain and never comes down?? I will post my theories, questions and thoughts later. Something just isn’t right here…

  10. #10
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    Thank you SO much!

    Quote Originally Posted by flightlevel View Post
    Reading the old articles from 1987 is troubling. The apathy and lack of passion in the quotes from the authorities and searchers is disturbing. As if "well we looked, we couldn't find him, he’s up there somewhere but....." And then little or no concern expressed for follow up or their next plan of action. (I don't think they had one) No further investigative reporting from media either. What a combo. The kid never had a chance. Ok, the case may have turned cold but if the efforts in the following years were anything like the ones in the early days no wonder there has been no resolution. I am glad to read that some of his old classmates and new investigators have revived interest in this case. This boy deserves to be found. If his death was an accident he deserves to be found for proper burial. If he was the victim of a crime he deserves justice. He was just a teenage boy. If they supposedly searched and searched something would have been found eventually. Ok they didn't find him....so I have not read anything regarding their theories as to what they think happened. Other than he fell in a crevice or off a cliff. What goes up must come down somewhere. A boy goes up a mountain and never comes down?? I will post my theories, questions and thoughts later. Something just isn’t right here…
    I just wanted to say thank you for your support and understanding. Joe was my classmate back in 1987 and I have always been angry at the lack of concern for Joe by so many in our little community of Ellenville. In fact, our graduating class (class of 1988) NEVER even included a word about Joe in our senior yearbook! I only found out 2 years ago that Joe's mom had ordered a yearbook in anticipation of seeing something included for Joe! Worse, Joe was never added the the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children until 2010! (a full 23 years AFTER he disappeared). The authorities absolutely dropped the ball in this case. Joe was the kindest, sweetest guy. He always had a smile, was always the one to cheer people up and he was also the biggest jokester around. He deserves so much better than this and that's why his aunt Beth, his close friend Jackie and myself are working so hard to raise awareness for his case. Joe, and his family, deserve peace and deserve answers.


  11. #11
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    "25 Years Is Too Long"
    Monday's Candlelight Vigil to Remember Joe Helt


    By Jane Anderson
    (Shawangunk Journal 1/12/12

    http://www.gunkjournal.com/2012/01/12/news/1201124.html

    ELLENVILLE – The Facebook page has nearly 600 members. On it is a collection of news stories telling of a boy lost on the mountain 25 years ago; the latest story is from a year ago.

    "We SHOULDN'T be here, one year later, still looking for answers for Joe! He and his family DESERVE peace!" writes Gina Schuster, administrator of "In Support of Joe Helt" on the social media giant.

    There are other websites as well: www.forjoehelt.webs.com, another Facebook page called Justice for Joe, WebSleuths.com. Sam's Point Search & Rescue writes about the search for Joe on its website. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children recently put Joe's case in its database.

    Schuster, her former classmate Jackie Mennella, and Joe's aunt Beth Churchill are gathering Monday night, the 25th anniversary of Joe's disappearance, for a candlelight vigil at Pioneer's Norbury Hall at 73 Center Street in Ellenville.

    The vigil begins at 6 p.m. and will run until 9 p.m. Music will be provided by the band "All is Not Lost."

    The average person may ask, "Why, after 25 years, are you still pushing for answers?"

    "Because there's family and friends who love Joe, who miss him and who have lived a quarter-century with unanswered questions of what happened to him," Schuster said. "Nobody disappears into thin air."

    <modsnip>
    Last edited by SheWhoMustNotBeNamed; 02-19-2012 at 05:18 PM. Reason: copyright violation

  12. #12
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    I will definitely write to some of the TV shows that profile missing cases to suggest they cover this story.

    I am not from the area so I don't know the most obvious route he would have taken to get off the mountain. I read somewhere that he had previously hiked in that area. Would the lights of the little towns below have been visible as a point of reference? Also he was familiar with general lay of the land and direction to go in to find help. This makes "getting lost" seem unlikely. Not sure if he was a smoker, but if so he probably would have had a lighter or matches with him. If he were in a situation where he was lost he could have used these to start a little fire with sticks or debris in the woods. Since no clues or trace of him was ever found it seems as though he was not in survival mode. Also the lighter may have helped him see slightly better at night. For some reason I just don't believe he randomly "fell off a cliff into a crevice"...I almost want to say WTF to that one. If that was the case professional rock climbers could help to get into hard to reach areas. If there is any recreational rock climbing in the area it seems as though something would have turned up by now.

    I wonder if they have ever used metal detectors to search for his little radio. Would one of these pick up the metal components inside of a walkman? Or buttons on his coat or jeans? Tooth fillings?

    I wonder if eyewitnesses saw the direction the boys went when they left the party? Have the ice caves ever been checked? The lake? (A search was done a couple years ago in my area at a large lake for two women who had been missing for several years.) Underwater cameras etc… were used to look for remains.

    Websleuthers any thoughts?.

  13. #13
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    25 years since Ellenville man went missing

    http://hudsonvalley.ynn.com/content/...-went-missing/

    8:02 AM
    By: YNN Staff

    ELLENVILLE, N.Y. -- Monday marks 25 years since Joseph Helt disappeared. On January 16, 1987, Helt disappeared while out with friends in Ellenville

  14. #14
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    Anyone unfamiliar with this case should take a moment to look at it. Joe Helt vanished without a trace and all investigators have to go on are the word of the three acquaintances he was with the night he disappeared. The search and media efforts were apathetic at best. There are many theories and controversies as to what happened to Joe Helt. There is currently a renewed interest by media due to the efforts of some of the townspeople who knew this young man. Here is a simple link to one article regarding this case. This case goes way deeper than the obvious and is equally as haunting as the Maura Murray story.

    http://www.shawangunkjournal.com/201...s/1101130.html

  15. #15
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    If you have a candle sitting around your house go and light it up for Joe Helt today. Today marks 25 years that he has been missing. Today his friends and family are having a candle light vigil in his hometown of Ellenville NY. I will be there in spirit and my candle will be burning.

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