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  1. #1
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    AZ - Donald Shelenberger, 35, Pima County, 3 July 1994

    I'm going to go out on a limb here. I believe I know who Benjaman Kyle truly is. And the odd thing is that this missing person's name and face have already appeared here within these threads. Ben may have Powell relations several generations back, but I believe Benjaman is Donald Kenneth Shellenberger though the name was misspelled as Shelenberger.

    He is the same height as Benjaman, though listed at much thinner 160lbs. when he disappeared in 1994 at age 35, and after making arrangements with a friend to hike Mount Lemmon near Tucson. Shellenberger was listed as being 5'11" and having blue eyes and brown hair. Mr. Kyle and Donald Shelenberger have a strong resemblance, and neither is listed as having any tattoos.

    I found a Dr. Jeffry John Shellenberger in Tucson, whom I believe may be Benjaman's younger brother. I also believe he has a younger sister in Colorado Springs, CO by the name of Susie Shellenberger, an evangelist and author of 40 books. These are accomplished people in their fields which would fit in well with Benjaman being educated and articulate. I found the possible Colorado connection very interesting.

    With the extra weight Ben was carrying was lost, I thought he looked younger, and if indeed he is a match for Donald Shellenberger, he would be 54 today. That age seems to fit since he's shed a few pounds.

    Am encluding photos of Shelenberger, Kyle, Dr. Jeff Shellenburger and Susie Shellenberger. Sorry, I do not know how to make them all the same size.

    I spoke with Detective Crehan at Pima County Sheriff's Dept. today. Mr. Shelenberger was reported missing by the friend he was scheduled to go hiking with; however, Shellenberger never showed up. A search and rescue mission was carried out on Mount Lemmon with no results.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
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    http://www.pimasheriff.org/Missing-D.../960/Show.aspx

    Thanks for the post and all the info. I would be quite surprised if BK turns out to be this person, as IMO, I do not feel that they look very much alike. The nose especially is quite different; BK's is much longer and thinner than DKS's. BKS's nose is much wider at the end. JMO

  3. #3
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    Hi Julessleuther,

    Yes, I know what you mean, but I'm thinking it's the angle of the photo shot of Shellenberger. The photo of Benjaman that got me going on this is the one of him with the full dark beard leaning back. Because it's a different angle his nose looks more like that of Shellenberger's. And if Benjaman was leaning back even more, I think his nose would look like that of Shellenberger's.

    I'll eat my hat if Susie Shellenberger isn't Benjaman Kyle's sister. They look so similar, enough to be fraternal twins if she was the same age. Natch, she's a younger person. That she lives in Colorado Springs could be the Colorado connection Benjaman remembers.

    Thanks for looking!

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by justthinkin View Post
    I'm going to go out on a limb here. I believe I know who Benjaman Kyle truly is. And the odd thing is that this missing person's name and face have already appeared here within these threads. Ben may have Powell relations several generations back, but I believe Benjaman is Donald Kenneth Shellenberger though the name was misspelled as Shelenberger.

    He is the same height as Benjaman, though listed at much thinner 160lbs. when he disappeared in 1994 at age 35, and after making arrangements with a friend to hike Mount Lemmon near Tucson. Shellenberger was listed as being 5'11" and having blue eyes and brown hair. Mr. Kyle and Donald Shelenberger have a strong resemblance, and neither is listed as having any tattoos.

    I found a Dr. Jeffry John Shellenberger in Tucson, whom I believe may be Benjaman's younger brother. I also believe he has a younger sister in Colorado Springs, CO by the name of Susie Shellenberger, an evangelist and author of 40 books. These are accomplished people in their fields which would fit in well with Benjaman being educated and articulate. I found the possible Colorado connection very interesting.

    With the extra weight Ben was carrying was lost, I thought he looked younger, and if indeed he is a match for Donald Shellenberger, he would be 54 today. That age seems to fit since he's shed a few pounds.

    Am encluding photos of Shelenberger, Kyle, Dr. Jeff Shellenburger and Susie Shellenberger. Sorry, I do not know how to make them all the same size.

    I spoke with Detective Crehan at Pima County Sheriff's Dept. today. Mr. Shelenberger was reported missing by the friend he was scheduled to go hiking with; however, Shellenberger never showed up. A search and rescue mission was carried out on Mount Lemmon with no results.
    Thanks for your work-when you spoke with Detective Crehan, did he let you know if there were fingerprints, dental records or DNA on file for Mr. Shellenberger? Tattoos, scars, distinguishing marks, charecteristics etc??

    TIA
    email me


    Long Lost Love: The Bob Harrod Story Disappeared/ID Network
    Amazon: Purchase Long Lost Love $1.99


    Bob Harrod SAR


    “The first time someone shows you who they are, believe them.”
    ― Maya Angelou

  5. #5
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    Donald Shellenberger

    I am going to move the work Justthinkin did into this sub-forum...
    email me


    Long Lost Love: The Bob Harrod Story Disappeared/ID Network
    Amazon: Purchase Long Lost Love $1.99


    Bob Harrod SAR


    “The first time someone shows you who they are, believe them.”
    ― Maya Angelou

  6. #6
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    I'd also like to know what the link is between these different Shellenbergers (other than the name).

    It appears from searching for Donald that there are at least four or five Donald Shellenbergers, of different ages and with different middle names, out on the web... Zabasearch reports 70 people by that name and even allowing for the tendency to multiple count there must be at least 20 and probably closer to 50 in the US.

    In addition Susie's surname could be her married name which means that any similarity in looks would have no biological basis. Plus, as she is a minister, it makes it much less likely that, if she were related to BK, he would be from a Catholic background - which is one thing he seems quite sure of.

    I'm not saying that this can't be him, just that while there are not Shellenbergers on every street, the name might be more common than it first appears - which means that we probably just need to focus on the one missing person rather than any familial similarities unless there is evidence to that effect.

  7. #7
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    Cymro, you offer some valid points. I did recently read that amnesia victims' memories are not all that relaiable. Not that they deliberately lie, but that they see something or read something and latch onto it, and then incorporate it as a memory, albeit a false one. Is it any wonder if a person doesn't know who they are that they try to latch on to something to help center them in their quest for their own identity.

    Many young people want to know who they are, and where they fit in. So it is with amnesia victims. I can't begrudge an amnesia victim creating memories out of desperation. Some of what Mr. Kyle remembers may be spot on, and some of it not. We won't truly know until he has his identity back. In light of that, I don't think we can afford to dismiss anything that doesn't fit with what Mr. Kyle thinks he remembers.

    I went looking for possible relations of Mr. Shelenberger in Tucson, the city where he went missing from. I also looked in Indiana and Colorado because those are places Mr. Kyle remembers. There are numerous photos of Susie Shellenberger on the web, and IMO, there is just no denying she looks like Benjaman. She is associated with the Church of the Nazarene. And IIRC, so is the doctor in Tucson, Dr. Jeffery Shellenberger. There was an elder Shellenberger, a Dr. Elmer Shellenberger associated with the Southern Nazarene Univ. in Oklahoma. I have no idea if he is related to the other two I mentioned, but I think it's a good possibility.

    If you want to dismiss my search methods that's fine, but you forget, we're all trying to identify Mr. Kyle. Each of us brings something different to the table, and each of us has something different to offer. I just do the best I can to contribute. I wasn't looking for Donald Shelenberger in an online phone directory. I think most missing persons wouldn't be listed in a directory. So it's likely the missing Donald Shelenberger from Tucson, AZ won't be found in a directory.
    Last edited by justthinkin; 10-14-2009 at 04:12 PM.

  8. #8
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    Justthinkin - I am absolutely not dismissing your search methods and it would not be fine for me to do so. What I am asking for is to see evidence (and I would expect to give evidence for anything I put forward) of a link between people whom we introduce into the investigation.

    I also agree that we can't afford to dismiss anything - but we probably do need to take some things as read and then, if they don't pan out or if evidence emerges that contradicts them, we need to take the opposite tack.

    If there are numerous Shellenbergers associated with one, relatively small church, I would say that the odds are good that they are related, by birth or by marriage at least. What we now need to do is substantiate a link between them and the missing person - genealogy can help here. If that is the case then we know that there is a good chance that Jeffrey was erudite and well educated like his siblings or relatives, and also that DNA will be available. If there is no relationship then neither of those things is excluded but we can move forward with the investigation via another route, focusing more on LE than any other likely efforts to reunite a family.

    I am absolutely not trying to tell you what to do but, as you say, trying to offer my assistance and by raising my concerns I hope to focus the search and identify whether information is useful or (most likely, no matter how promising it seems at first) yet another blind alley. That's not a comment on the quality of the research or the thinking that has brought it up - I'm trying to assist in the sifting process that will eventually bring out the nugget of truth that we are all looking for.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by believe09 View Post
    Thanks for your work-when you spoke with Detective Crehan, did he let you know if there were fingerprints, dental records or DNA on file for Mr. Shellenberger? Tattoos, scars, distinguishing marks, charecteristics etc??

    TIA
    Hi believe09, Hmmm. I thought I'd posted an answer to this earlier, but I was in a rush to get to a doc appt. so evidently the computer ate my homework. I spoke with the detective this morning. She hasn't really gotten into the file as their files from 1994 aren't computerized, and so hasn't looked at the evidence. I gather there are some things she's not saying, but she seemed encouraged by what I shared with her which is the same as what I've shared here.

  10. #10
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    Just thinkin--Thank you for your research. IMO, I do not think anyone here is dismissing your search methods, we are all working with very little information, so searching needs to be "outside the box" if we are going to find answers. Some of the people I have posted are alittle "out there" but until we have solid information, everyone (within certain perimeters) is a potential link.

    As Believe mentioned, when you spoke to LE, do they have any other identifying scars, tattoos etc for Mr. Shelenberger that would point more to BK? Has Dna been submitted? So LE is saying he never showed up at the hiking location to meet his friend? Was he married? What is the last point of contact anyone had with him? Had he had previous injuries that would verify with BK's scars? Do they have any other photos of him that you can post?

    I understand what you are saying about memories, but BK seems to have very specific memories; certain restaurants in Denver area, different concession stands at the Indiana fair, that I think it is fair to say that he had to have at least visited these places at some point in his life. If we can tie those memories with someone valid, as well as tie together the known scars that BK has on his body with a valid missing person, we will be closer to finding his identity.

    I did a quick ancestry search yesterday and did not find anything tying him to Indiana or Colorado (other than his sister Susie), but will research this more for you tonight if you do not have an ancestry account. I will also research if there is a Powell/Shelenberger connection for you if you'd like too, just say the word!


    How did you find out about Donald? Other than the Pima county sheriffs link that I posted above, I do not see him listed on any missing persons boards. Do you know why LE does not have him listed?


    Quote Originally Posted by justthinkin View Post
    Cymro, you offer some valid points. I did recently read that amnesia victims' memories are not all that relaiable. Not that they deliberately lie, but that they see something or read something and latch onto it, and then incorporate it as a memory, albeit a false one. Is it any wonder if a person doesn't know who they are that they try to latch on to something to help center them in their quest for their own identity.

    Many young people want to know who they are, and where they fit in. So it is with amnesia victims. I can't begrudge an amnesia victim creating memories out of desperation. Some of what Mr. Kyle remembers may be spot on, and some of it not. We won't truly know until he has his identity back. In light of that, I don't think we can afford to dismiss anything that doesn't fit with what Mr. Kyle thinks he remembers.

    I went looking for possible relations of Mr. Shelenberger in Tucson, the city where he went missing from. I also looked in Indiana and Colorado because those are places Mr. Kyle remembers. There are numerous photos of Susie Shellenberger on the web, and IMO, there is just no denying she looks like Benjaman. She is associated with the Church of the Nazarene. And IIRC, so is the doctor in Tucson, Dr. Jeffery Shellenberger. There was an elder Shellenberger, a Dr. Elmer Shellenberger associated with the Southern Nazarene Univ. in Oklahoma. I have no idea if he is related to the other two I mentioned, but I think it's a good possibility.

    If you want to dismiss my search methods that's fine, but you forget, we're all trying to identify Mr. Kyle. Each of us brings something different to the table, and each of us has something different to offer. I just do the best I can to contribute. I wasn't looking for Donald Shelenberger in an online phone directory. I think most missing persons wouldn't be listed in a directory. So it's likely the missing Donald Shelenberger from Tucson, AZ won't be found in a directory.
    Last edited by Julessleuther; 10-14-2009 at 04:36 PM.


  11. #11
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    Has she had a chance to look at photos of BK and see his info yet? Just to be certain, is the correct spelling of his name with one L or two in the last name?
    Quote Originally Posted by justthinkin View Post
    Hi believe09, Hmmm. I thought I'd posted an answer to this earlier, but I was in a rush to get to a doc appt. so evidently the computer ate my homework. I spoke with the detective this morning. She hasn't really gotten into the file as their files from 1994 aren't computerized, and so hasn't looked at the evidence. I gather there are some things she's not saying, but she seemed encouraged by what I shared with her which is the same as what I've shared here.
    Last edited by Julessleuther; 10-14-2009 at 04:45 PM.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Julessleuther View Post
    Just thinkin--Thank you for your research. IMO, I do not think anyone here is dismissing your search methods, we are all working with very little information, so searching needs to be "outside the box" if we are going to find answers. Some of the people I have posted are alittle "out there" but until we have solid information, everyone (within certain perimeters) is a potential link.

    As Believe mentioned, when you spoke to LE, do they have any other identifying scars, tattoos etc for Mr. Shelenberger that would point more to BK? Has Dna been submitted? So LE is saying he never showed up at the hiking location to meet his friend? Was he married? What is the last point of contact anyone had with him? Had he had previous injuries that would verify with BK's scars? Do they have any other photos of him that you can post?

    I understand what you are saying about memories, but BK seems to have very specific memories; certain restaurants in Denver area, different concession stands at the Indiana fair, that I think it is fair to say that he had to have at least visited these places at some point in his life. If we can tie those memories with someone valid, as well as tie together the known scars that BK has on his body with a valid missing person, we will be closer to finding his identity.

    I did a quick ancestry search yesterday and did not find anything tying him to Indiana or Colorado (other than his sister Susie), but will research this more for you tonight if you do not have an ancestry account. I will also research if there is a Powell/Shelenberger connection for you if you'd like too, just say the word!


    How did you find out about Donald? Other than the Pima county sheriffs link that I posted above, I do not see him listed on any missing persons boards. Do you know why LE does not have him listed?

    Shelenberger is listed with the Charley Project, but I got his name from here at Websleuths when a bunch of people were being listed as possible matches for Benjaman. It just hadn't been followed up on, and I decided to look into Shellenberger because despite the nose, I thought the rest of his features looked like Benjaman's, plus I thought the angle of the photo shot might account for the nasal difference.

    ITA Denver and Indiana, and his knowledge of restaurant equipment. There may also be places he's been that he doesn't have a clue he's been there, ya know?

    I don't have an Ancestry account, so please do whatever searches you think may be pertinent.

    As for what info they have over in AZ, I don't think the case had been looked at in a good while. Just guessing, I would say it's likely no dna work has been done. The detective hadn't gone & pulled the actual file, but she's interested in pursuing this now.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Julessleuther View Post
    Has she had a chance to look at photos of BK and see his info yet? Just to be certain, is the correct spelling of his name with one L or two in the last name?
    I really don't know. Shellenberger is far more common than Shelenberger. If it had been a relative who submitted the missing person's report then I would assume Shelenberger to be the correct spelling, but since it was a friend that did the submission, I guess it would depend on how well or how long they'd known each other. We females usually know how to spell our friends names, but with guys, I don't know if that would be as important to them.

    The friend who submitted the report was the one who was supposed to go hiking with Shelenberger. They met the day before, and made arrangements to go, but then the next day, Shelenberger was a no show. Then the friend went over to check Shelenberger's residence, but he wasn't there either. A few days elapsed, and still no Shelenberger so the friend called LE.

    Oh, I do not think Shelenberger was married. Think he lived alone, hence the friend reporting his absence.
    Last edited by justthinkin; 10-14-2009 at 07:53 PM.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cymro View Post
    Justthinkin - I am absolutely not dismissing your search methods and it would not be fine for me to do so. What I am asking for is to see evidence (and I would expect to give evidence for anything I put forward) of a link between people whom we introduce into the investigation.

    I also agree that we can't afford to dismiss anything - but we probably do need to take some things as read and then, if they don't pan out or if evidence emerges that contradicts them, we need to take the opposite tack.

    If there are numerous Shellenbergers associated with one, relatively small church, I would say that the odds are good that they are related, by birth or by marriage at least. What we now need to do is substantiate a link between them and the missing person - genealogy can help here. If that is the case then we know that there is a good chance that Jeffrey was erudite and well educated like his siblings or relatives, and also that DNA will be available. If there is no relationship then neither of those things is excluded but we can move forward with the investigation via another route, focusing more on LE than any other likely efforts to reunite a family.

    I am absolutely not trying to tell you what to do but, as you say, trying to offer my assistance and by raising my concerns I hope to focus the search and identify whether information is useful or (most likely, no matter how promising it seems at first) yet another blind alley. That's not a comment on the quality of the research or the thinking that has brought it up - I'm trying to assist in the sifting process that will eventually bring out the nugget of truth that we are all looking for.
    I appreciate your post. Can't tell the tone of posts at times so thanks. I totally understand what you are saying. I just don't have the answers yet, and that is what I'm looking for the connection if it exists. It's not uncommon for people to submit based on photographs. Sometimes it pans out, more often it doesn't. I don't think the Dr. in AZ looks all that much like BK, but Susie Shellenberger sure does. There's just something about the eyes of these 4 that told me to get this checked out. First, I think we need to hear back from the detective. She could come back, and say it's a no go. I gave her BK's height, weight, approx. age, hair color, eye color, scars. I have to wait for her response to that info.

    I suspect if there's any dna to get it hasn't been done yet. I did ask specifically.
    Last edited by justthinkin; 10-14-2009 at 08:20 PM.

  15. #15
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    The Charlie post:

    http://www.charleyproject.org/cases/s/shelenberger_donald.html


    Oh--so we are not certain that Donald is related to the Susie Shellenberger? Ok! I have been searching for him with two L's on ancestry. Let me try with one L.



    Quote Originally Posted by justthinkin View Post
    I really don't know. Shellenberger is far more common than Shelenberger. If it had been a relative who submitted the missing person's report then I would assume Shelenberger to be the correct spelling, but since it was a friend that did the submission, I guess it would depend on how well or how long they'd known each other. We females usually know how to spell our friends names, but with guys, I don't know if that would be as important to them.

    The friend who submitted the report was the one who was supposed to go hiking with Shelenberger. They met the day before, and made arrangements to go, but then the next day, Shelenberger was a no show. Then the friend went over to check Shelenberger's residence, but he wasn't there either. A few days elapsed, and still no Shelenberger so the friend called LE.

    Oh, I do not think Shelenberger was married. Think he lived alone, hence the friend reporting his absence.
    Last edited by Julessleuther; 10-16-2009 at 12:53 AM.

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