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  1. #1
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    Sep 2004
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    IN - Ralph Stutzman, 46, LaGrange, 17 Aug 1952

    Ralph Stutzman
    Missing since August 17, 1952 from LaGrange, Indiana
    Classification: Missing

    Vital Statistics
    Age at Time of Disappearance: 46-47 years old
    Distinguishing Characteristics: White male.

    Circumstances of Disappearance
    Ralph Stutzman, a local farmer, vanished without a trace on August 17, 1952 from LaGrange, IN.

    Ralph Stutzman was a hard working farmer and a family man. He and wife Edna Mae raised 13 children on their farm southeast of LaGrange.

    August 17th, 1952 started like any other; work first, and a promise of playtime later. His children did their chores, then went back to the house. Stutzman told them he'd be home in 20 minutes, after he'd chased the cows to the field. He never showed up.

    Family members say there is no evidence that Ralph planned to leave that day. He hadn't packed a bag and he hadn't settled any affairs in town.
    There is a theory that someone settled the score with Ralph Stutzman after a Saturday night of poker at the Post Time Club. It was a popular spot in downtown LaGrange where men could make a little mischief and lose a lot of money.

    The night before his disappearance, Stutzman played cards with friends well into the night.
    He never contacted his family, never told a friend of any plans to run, and has not been sighted since August 17th, 1952. According to police it hasn't been excluded that he left voluntarily.

    Investigators
    If you have any information concerning this case, please contact: LaGrange County Sheriff's Office 260-463-7491

    Source Information:
    WNDU
    The Doe Network: Case File 1871DMIN

    Link:
    http://www.doenetwork.org/cases/1871dmin.html
    Last edited by SheWhoMustNotBeNamed; 04-29-2010 at 10:01 PM. Reason: updated doe network link

  2. #2
    I checked Newspaper Archives and could find nothing... at all.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
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    2,959
    My parents and other family are from IN. There was a story in their town (Lafayette) about a dead man who was found and had become mummified. He was found by their memories in the late 50's but was thought to have died in the late 40's early 50's. I tried to ask about this story but they really dont remember much of it b/c they were young then. Apparently, he is still being kept in a funeral home there for people to come view in hope of IDing him but that part I think is false b/c how could you tell what he looked like if he was mummified. According to the story anyone can just go in and look at him. I'll have to see if any older family members remember this and can give more info. I doubt if this is the same man b/c of the distance between locations and this John Doe is possibly just a local legend. I tried looking into it on the internet with no luck. Does anyone know anything about that story by chance?

  4. #4
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    Sep 2004
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    Preserved man at the funeral home...

    Quote Originally Posted by 2sisters
    My parents and other family are from IN. There was a story in their town (Lafayette) about a dead man who was found and had become mummified. ... Apparently, he is still being kept in a funeral home there for people to come view in hope of IDing him but that part I think is false b/c how could you tell what he looked like if he was mummified. ... Does anyone know anything about that story by chance?
    I have not seen anything about this in recent years, but I have a memory of seeing something like what you describe on TV maybe ten years ago. I do not recall all of the facts, only that there was a mumified, or well preserved man kept at a funeral home, dressed in a suit of clothes. I cannot recall if this man was unidentified, or if he was preserved at his own request.

  5. #5
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    Sep 2004
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    55 year anniversary of this disappearance...

    Bumping up this case. It will be 55 years old in August.

  6. #6
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    Sep 2004
    Location
    Not Of This World
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    This is near me. Same county as the Anderson Murders I posted about. I have never heard of it, though.


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  7. #7
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    Dec 2008
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    Just some genealogical info, it may or may not assist in future searches.

    Note: I used rootsweb which is user submitted and although this information submitted by user appears to be documented ~ there is always room for error. (I did confirm much of it on the LDS site by references to reels).

    Ralph Stutzman DOB: 30 Mar 1906

    Ralph was adopted and the place of adoption was: White Pigeon, St. Joseph Co., MI, USA

    Ralph married Edna: 9 Dec 1925 White Pigeon, St. Joseph, Michigan, USA

    He is in the SS death index with DOD listed as AUG 1952. (I would think that he was legally declared deceased and the DOD was retroactive to time of disappearance).

    From what I can see there is a possiblity that one or more of Ralph and Edna's children are still alive and to respect their privacy the above is all that I will bring here.

    There is no other information IMHO that I can see that would assist in a records search in the future.

  8. #8
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    Dec 2008
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    Bump

    Ralph has been missing 58 years today. Come home soon.

  9. #9
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    Jan 2008
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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    2

    Still Missing

    I am Ralph's Granddaughter. Several years ago we (several family members) met with the LaGrange County (Indiana) Sheriff's office and hit a brick wall with our search for information. We were shown the Indiana State Police report ( most of it was blacked out) but obtained no new information. My grandmother used to receive letters from the FBI every year inquiring if she had heard from my grandfather. Yet they have no record of even investigating his disappearance and state they can not look for him without HIS permission...??? He would be dead by now.

    There has been many scenarios of his demise stated through out the years, one that seems plausible, even though several family members disagree, is that he went to live among the Amish. I know that the Amish in LaGrange County still talk about his disappearance.

    We are still looking for answers, hope someone out there can help us find them.

    Nancy


  11. #11
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    Sep 2004
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nan View Post
    I am Ralph's Granddaughter. Several years ago we (several family members) met with the LaGrange County (Indiana) Sheriff's office and hit a brick wall with our search for information. We were shown the Indiana State Police report ( most of it was blacked out) but obtained no new information. My grandmother used to receive letters from the FBI every year inquiring if she had heard from my grandfather. Yet they have no record of even investigating his disappearance and state they can not look for him without HIS permission...??? He would be dead by now.

    There has been many scenarios of his demise stated through out the years, one that seems plausible, even though several family members disagree, is that he went to live among the Amish. I know that the Amish in LaGrange County still talk about his disappearance.

    We are still looking for answers, hope someone out there can help us find them.

    Nancy

    Welcome to Websleuths. Hope that you will learn more about your grandfather and his disappearance. It has been 59 years now since he went missing.

  12. #12
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    Sep 2004
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    This August 17th will mark 60 years since Ralph Stutzman went missing without a trace. he would be 106 years old, if still living today.

  13. #13
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    Bumping up, due to recent interst in the case...

  14. #14
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    Jan 2014
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    Still unsolved. But, why the FBI would inquire his whereabouts?

  15. #15
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    Jul 2011
    Location
    Fairfield, Nelson Co, Ky USA
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    Quote Originally Posted by Archangel85 View Post
    ...why the FBI would inquire his whereabouts?
    Could it be related to illegal gambling or could he have screwed somebody over big-time while gambling?
    I don't know what Indiana gambling laws were back then. I'm actually not sure what they are now. I live near Louisville (KY) and know that the few casino-type establishments around here are on (stationary) boats in the Ohio River. I think it could be because they can't do it (on actual land) in Kentucky or Indiana in this area. Otherwise the boats that don't go anywhere doesn't make much sense.

    There seems to be enough info out there that the "mummy" must exist, or existed at one point. The oldest Indiana John Does in either NamUS or DoeNetwork are from 1977.

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