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    Austin Sparks (15) - Montgomery Creek CA, 2004

    Missing Since: January 4, 2004 from Montgomery Creek, California
    Classification: Lost/Injured Missing
    Date Of Birth: March 3, 1988
    Age: 15 years old
    Height and Weight: 5'0, 115 pounds
    Distinguishing Characteristics: Caucasian male. Brown hair, brown eyes.
    Clothing/Jewelry Description: Brown or blue sweatpants, a black or dark blue sweatshirt, and black and gray Globe skater shoes with distinctive soles.
    Medical Conditions: Sparks suffers from severe emotional problems and had been taking psychiatric medications daily for three years prior to his disappearance. He is not believed to have his medicine with him.

    Details of Disappearance

    Sparks was last seen by his father at their home in Montgomery Creek, California at 7:00 a.m. on January 4, 2004. The medication he was taking gave him problems with sleeping and he woke his father up at this time. His father told him to go back to bed, but Sparks left the house instead. His footprints through the snow show that he walked a mile from his house to the Acorn Cafe and an employee saw him go into the establishment twice. Sparks was last seen between 9:30 and 10:00 a.m. that day outside the cafe, which is located on Highway 299 in Montgomery Creek. He has never been heard from again. His father reported him missing at noon that same day.

    Sparks attended a special school in Redding, California at the time of his disappearance. His mother died of cancer in 1997, and he lived alone with his father, who is not considered a suspect in his disappearance. Sparks is an only child. He is described as intelligent but shy, withdrawn and easily confused; he may not respond if approached by anyone. He also has difficulty making decisions. Sparks's father says the his son's new anti-depressant medication caused him to be more outgoing, talkative and normal in appearance but that the drug also made him dangerously gullible and trusting.

    Sparks and his father were going to go on vacation over his school winter break, but inclement weather caused them to cancel their plans and Sparks was reportedly very disappointed. He is not thought to have run away from home, however. It is also considered unlikely that he hitchhiked anywhere.

    Investigators believe Sparks may have tried to go to the Redding Skate Park which he liked to frequent, but he did not have his skateboard, hacky-sack, or any money with him when he vanished. Sparks's sneakers have unusual soles and this made it easy to identify his tracks, which went for over two miles through snow over a foot deep and lead up to the banks of the Pitt River before disappearing. Investigators are unsure how Sparks got to the river; the area is so remote and rugged, it is virtually inaccessible even by law enforcement officials. He had never been to the river before. His father believes he got lost and became disoriented. No sign of Sparks or his remains have been found in the water, but because of the circumstances, authorities believe it is likely that he drowned there.

    Sparks enjoys skateboarding and is a former hacky-sack champion who had played at the state and world levels. His case remains unsolved. In May 2004, a bench was placed at the Redding Skate Park and dedicated in his memory.

    Investigating Agency
    If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
    Shasta County Sheriff's Department


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    Last edited by KateB; 05-23-2015 at 08:04 AM. Reason: repair url tag.

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