Vital Statistics at Time of DisappearanceMissing Since: January 1, 1988 from Pottsville, Pennsylvania
Classification: Endangered Missing
Date Of Birth: February 5, 1970
Age: 17 years old
Height and Weight: 6'1, 185 pounds
Distinguishing Characteristics: Caucasian male. Red hair, blue eyes. Lango has a burn scar on his upper right arm.
Clothing/Jewelry Description: A gray jacket, jeans and tennis shoes.
Details of DisappearanceLango was last seen leaving his family's residence in Pottsville, Pennsylvania at approximately 12:00 a.m. on January 1, 1988. He never returned home and has not been heard from again. Few details are available in his case.
If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
Pottsville Police Department
The National Center For Missing and Exploited Children
On New Year’s Day 1988, John Francis Lango, 17, left his Pottsville home about midnight.
He never returned.
Twenty years later, Lango’s disappearance remains unsolved, although the investigation is still continuing, Pottsville police said last week.
“This is still an ongoing and active investigation,” Pottsville police Capt. Ronald J. Moser said. “Detective (Glenn) Dove is assigned to the case, and he is in contact with numerous missing persons organizations and has contact with family members of John Lango.”
There are not many details available about the circumstances surrounding Lango’s disappearance, according to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
A press release from the agency said Lango, born Feb. 5, 1970, was wearing blue jeans, a gray jacket and sneakers when he left his home. Blue-eyed and red-haired, Lango was 6-foot-1 and 185 pounds. He also had a burn scar on his right upper arm.
Lango, who would be 37, is classified as “endangered missing,” by the NCMEC
It's good that John got some publicity after all this time, but I wish the article provided more information about his disappearance. I mean, is there evidence that he ran away? What are the circumstances? It was New Year's, perhaps he was intoxicated? Those details would be useful.
This article seems to indicate foul play:
Someone can help solve 1988 case of missing teen
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A 17-year-old boy or girl should not just vanish.
John F. Lango, then a Pottsville Area High School student, walked out of his home about midnight on New Year’s Day 1988 and has not been seen since, at least not by anyone who’s talking.
Law enforcement has followed leads. Lango’s family has provided DNA samples. Nothing has come of these efforts.
Some people might think that, given the fact that this boy who went missing is now a man three years shy of 40, if he is still alive, that it doesn’t matter if this case is ever solved.
On the contrary, it is more critical than ever that this case be resolved.
If John Lango met with foul play Jan. 1, 1988, or sometime thereafter, that means there are people out there who need to be brought to justice. If he is alive, we need to know that so we need not worry about justice going undone.
So much time has passed and many leads have grown cold. However, someone out there either knows or knew what happened to John Lango and, if that person, or persons, are still living, they must talk now while they still can.
Though well no... yes they should say, it's like so many other missing, I've seen some cases in which they acted as if foul play was involved and once the person is found they start talking about suicide notes they had written.
Very few details are available in this case. It would be interesting to foind out:
1.) Where John was going?
2.) Any actions or activities leading up to his leaving home near Midnight on New Years Day?
3.) Had John been drinking? Previously at a party on New Years Eve?
4.) Any witnesses or leads in the investigation?
Bumping up for John.
The picture of him is his senior picture from the 1988 yearbook. There are also pictures of him in the other yearbooks.
Hey all, so I know this is quite delayed and I'm not even from the Pennsylvania area, but I had family who lived out there. Pottsville seems like a tiny town, I'm sure everybody knows everybody but let's rewind 26 years ago. Hard to believe that I was born in 1988 and am inquiring about this even now. I am simply interested in this case.
People go missing all the time, and I've always found these cases to be extremely interesting. Too bad I didn't go into this field of forensics or solving cases like these. Did John leave directly at midnight via car? Did he just run away while he was intoxicated? Was he depressed about something? There has to be more information about this case. Should I resort to seeking out his old classmates? Ayyy just may need to do that
I came across John's picture last year and I always wondered whatever happened to him exactly, does anybody know if he has been found deceased by any chance? It's unfortunate, but for some reason, I think we deserve some closure here regardless how long it's been. So if anybody knows any information, please let me know!
Last edited by z_dubzz8; 06-11-2014 at 06:37 AM.
He was featured in the first Runaway train vid with Aundria Bowman. Some brilliant & very dedicated WS members managed to track it down somehow for Aundria's birth mother - it's linked in Aundria's thread which is the only reason I knew where to find it.
This is the version I saw first over 20 years ago in Australia. Eventually they pulled it & re-released it with Australian cases, unfortunately most had already been identified as victims of Ivan Milat & their were complaints that they were labelling kids who had left involuntarily as runaways.
With hindsight, it's hard to argue John & Aundria weren't incorrectly labelled voluntary runaways too.
John is at 1.06.
Age progression from The Charley Project