MI - Perry Corlew, 18, Grayling, 15 March 1974

Discussion in '1970's Missing' started by sweetpea657, Mar 19, 2006.

  1. sweetpea657

    sweetpea657 New Member

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    Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance
    Missing Since: March 15, 1974 from Grayling, Michigan
    Classification: Missing
    Date of Birth: July 5, 1956
    Age: 18 years old
    Distinguishing Characteristics: Brown hair.

    Details of Disappearance
    Corlew was last seen in Grayling, Michigan on March 15, 1974. He got into a minor motor vehicle accident in front of the Rialto Theater at 8:30 p.m., while driving a car he had just bought, and broke a headlight. Corlew drove away from the scene before the police could arrive. His car was found ninety minutes later, along the side of Interstate 75 about fifteen miles south of Grayling. The engine was running, the lights were on and the driver's side door was open, but there was no sign of Corlew at the scene. There were also no footprints in the snow around the vehicle.



    Corlew's family members believed he fled the scene of the accident because he had a poor driving record and was on probation for breaking and entering at the time of his disappearance. He has never been heard from again.

    There were several possible sightings of Corlew in the years following his disappearance, and his brother thought he tried to call him, but none of the contacts have been confirmed. Corlew's friends stated he had been thinking of traveling to California, and there was also speculation that he went to southern Michigan or to Florida, but his whereabouts after March 1974 are unknown. His dental records have been lost. His case remains unsolved.

    http://www.charleyproject.org/cases/c/corlew_perry.html
     
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  3. SheWhoMustNotBeNamed

    SheWhoMustNotBeNamed Former Member

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    The first annual Missing in Michigan Event was held on May 7th, 2011 at Ford Field in Detroit, MI. The slideshow was made to commemorate the families of the missing that attended the event.

    Perry is included.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n2gXGL6xQLA
     
  4. Satch

    Satch Active Member

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    Wow!

    This is baffling!

    What do you think could have happened to Perry? What is really surprising that no footprints were found in the snow near the car when it was found, along with the door open and engine running. How could a person walk away from the scene of an accident and NOT leave footprints in the snow? The only explanation would be, if there was a heavy snow that day/evening and the tracks would have been covered up by fresh snow.

    If he would have walked away, there would have otherwise been a trail. If he would have been abducted, the abductor would have left a trail in the snow, unless you go on a heavy snow theory above at the time of Perry's accident.

    Satch
     
  5. Satch

    Satch Active Member

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    Here is some info I found on the net about Perry's case from 2006. It states that DNA samples have been taken from Perry's parents at the time of writing, and will be entered into a national missing person's database for analysis. Let's hope this might provide some closure to this case!

    http://www.crawfordcountyavalanche.com/articles/2006/08/31/news/news04.txt

    Satch
     
  6. jlentine

    jlentine New Member

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  7. Satch

    Satch Active Member

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    Another article on Perry's case:

    http://archives.record-eagle.com/1999/mar/21teeno.htm

    I would like to know when the case accounts said he had just purchased the car, how close was that to his disappearance? Did the minor accident occur within hours, days, weeks, months? What was Perry's mood at the time of getting the car? What were the circumstances involved in how he got the car? He had a poor driving record. What specific driving violations prior to the accident in front of the theater were in police reports? Any other problems with the law? History of drugs or alcohol abuse?

    I think there is much more here in this case that has not yet been uncovered.

    Satch
     
  8. dogperson

    dogperson New Member

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    It sounds as if he fled from the scene of the accident and police found no footprints in the snow near the car when it was found a short time later. Was it still snowing? The footprints could have filled in quickly if it was. Otherwise, could he have stepped out of the car, stuck his thumb out, and hitched a ride right there? He had to have gotten out of the car even if there were no footprints found. He didn't just vanish so I wonder if he hopped in another vehicle and hitched a ride. It may be that he just got upset and/or panicky over the accident and just wanted to leave the scene. I wonder if there's any possibility he was under any sort of influence from alcohol or drugs. In that case he may have wanted to flee the scene before anybody called police and he may have intended to return later or within a few days. So the question is what happened to him after that? Did someone harm him? Was he upset enough to commit suicide? Or is he still living somewhere under another name?
    Also I wonder if the accident involved another vehicle or whether he just struck an object. If he hit another vehicle, could that person have chased after him and harmed him?
     
  9. KateB

    KateB New Member

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    Perry's NamUs entry indicates DNA samples are completed and UID1570's DNA status says "Samples submitted - Tests not complete."
    So it'll be an automatic submission and ruleout when the UID's tests are completed.
    Perry has been missing 40 years now.
     
  10. Satch

    Satch Active Member

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    Good points,

    Could the driver of the other car involved in Perry's fender-bender have done something to him in a "Road Rage" situation? Was the other driver ever questioned involving Perry's case and what kind of answers did he/she give? What did the driver of the other car say to Perry? What did Perry say to him/her?

    Or, did Perry just not stick around from the get-go? Meaning that he hit this other car in a parking lot at that theater, panicked, and just took off? The other mystery is, why leave the car running, unlocked? It would not appear that Perry could get away faster on foot as opposed to using his car. If he wasn't tragically injured or killed as a result of this potential other car/driver conflict, could he have just gone into hiding somewhere and to this day, might even still be alive, perhaps living under an alias name? Has Perry's social security number been in use since his disappearance?

    Satch
     
  11. Richard

    Richard New Member

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    It was a half moon phase the night he went missing. Someone might want to check the exact weather for that day and the days following, but with snow on the ground and no footprints, I get the impression that it was snowing at the time he left the car. Grayling is in the northern part of Michigan and there are some pretty remote areas up there. Most likely, he left the car for some reason, got lost and died of exposure. What searches were conducted after the snow melted?
     
  12. Satch

    Satch Active Member

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    Greetings Richard,

    I have a weather report from a weather history site for the day that Perry vanished, referenced below. There was bad weather, but not totally snow. It was rainy, snowy, and icy:

    Weather History Results for Grayling, MI
    March 15th, 1974
    « Previous Day - 3/14/1974 •••• 3/16/1974 - Next Day »

    On March 15th, 1974, the closest available weather station to Grayling, MI (GAYLORD, MI), reported the following conditions:

    High Temp: 41F
    Low Temp: 28.2F
    Average Temp: 35F
    Dewpoint: 26F
    Wind Speed: 7.6 Knots
    Precipitation Amount: n/a
    Snow Depth: n/a
    Observations: Fog, Rain/Drizzle, Snow/Ice Pellets

    Could Perry have hit that car in a weather related accident? I did not know about fog and ice in the area either. We had a bad weather wintery mix of fog, snow, and ice.

    Satch

    PS. Here is the site reference:

    http://www.farmersalmanac.com/weather-history/search-results/
     
  13. carbuff

    carbuff There but for the grace of God go I

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    I'm reading it that he left the scene of the first accident in his car, then the car was found a bit later, 15 miles away, with him missing. It's not clear whether the car was parked, or had run off the road.

    In either case, he could have injured his head and wandered off in a daze. If he walked down the traffic lane, his prints likely wouldn't show.
     
  14. Satch

    Satch Active Member

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  15. Satch

    Satch Active Member

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    Why I think Perry could still be alive, or at least was alive in 1992, Eighteen years after his disappearance:

    "Also in 1992, his brother Michael received a telephone call from someone mimicking cartoon character voices, which Michael and Perry used to do. The caller asked Michael what he thought of the voices, but hung up without identifying himself."

    Taken From:

    http://archives.record-eagle.com/1999/mar/21teeno.htm

    Could Perry have been abducted? The ability to do cartoon characters voices is a very unique ability. To me at least, this is not something that an average person would call up and do that, unless they knew Perry had that ability. And than to hang up like that? Was the call a cruel joke from a former friend of Perry's? If so, what a terrible thing to do to this poor family!

    I have five theories of what happened to Perry:

    1.) He panicked after the accident and drove away, perhaps terrified of going to jail and upsetting his parents. He choose to leave on his own. If suffering from depression or other personal or emotional issues, could he have committed suicide?

    2.) He injured his head badly in the accident, drove away, disoriented, got lost, and died of exposure.

    3.) The driver of the other car chased Perry down and harmed him or killed him.

    4.) In a panicked state, Perry drove away, choose on his own accord to "dump" the car, in this scenario is not injured or mildly injured. Hitches a ride with the wrong person, and is abducted or killed

    5.) Perry flees the accident scene, leaves the car running, goes into hiding unharmed from the accident. Somehow, he gets a ride with a good person, goes to a friends' house. Tells this friend what he did, swears the friend to secrecy, and the friend agrees. Perry than chooses to begin a new life by traveling to one or more of the places LE talked about in the case. (This would be a likely situation, IF the 1992 phone call was Perry.)

    Pondering Thoughts?

    A.) Why were their no witnesses who observed what happened to Perry or the car he had purchased? The interaction, if any with the driver, of the other car Perry damaged?

    B.) What type of environment did Perry drive through in fleeing the accident? If the Google Map location is the same above as in 1974, we are talking about a fairly busy urban or suburban area, not some road or roads in the middle of nowhere.

    C.) I think that phone call is very haunting and it likely that someone knows what happend to him.

    D.) If Perry is still alive I think he was terrified to come home at the time. However, to stay away for all these years for a seemingly minor fender-bender, doesn't make sense.

    E.) What details exist in Perry's breaking and entering case? This could be critical as to Perry's disappearance! Assuming there is no connection between that and his minor fender-bender. If Perry is still alive, the breaking and entering aspects of his other case, could be the real reason why he left, more so than a broken head light.

    Satch
     
  16. dogperson

    dogperson New Member

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    I'm still confused about the minor accident he had, whether it was with another motorist, a parked and empty car, a light pole or other object. That in itself doesn't seem like nearly enough reason to run away. In the 70s it was much easier to take on a new identity, but would he have known how? Would he have had the money to live on until he could get work in the new name?

    With him stopping and evidently just jumping out of the car, I agree that he either flagged down a ride, someone who knew him stopped to see what was going on and offered him a ride, or he ran off into the woods, etc. If the accident was minor I don't know whether he could have been injured enough to become disoriented. Could he have been under the influence of something and decided to hide from LE until he sobered up, but something happened to him in the meantime? For instance, he may have hidden outdoors somewhere in the cold, gotten drowsy from being under the influence, and passed of hypothermia. In which case you would expect him to have been found, unless he was hiding in some brush, a culvert, or something where he was never seen.

    He very well could have managed to take on another identity. He could have lived homeless for a while, staying in shelters, eating at places who feed the homeless. He could have worked "under the table" for cash until he saved enough to pay for obtaining the birth certificate of a deceased person, getting an SS# in that name, renting a place to live. But why would he want to disappear from his family forever? This is one of the most puzzling cases on WS.
     
  17. psyquestor

    psyquestor Just passing through

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  18. dogperson

    dogperson New Member

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    This article helped answer the question I had about the accident. Now we know for certain it was a parked vehicle he hit. I assume someone must have seen it happen or else we wouldn't know it was Perry.

    I wonder how hard it was snowing and how quickly it would have filled in footprints. If there wasn't time for that to happen then it seems almost certain he got into a vehicle with someone else. It sounds like it happened quickly, as if he pulled off the side of the road, jumped out with motor running, and jumped into another car. But then what? And was it someone he knew?
     
  19. Satch

    Satch Active Member

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    The new information was excellent! It will help spread the word on this cold case. My interest still remains with Perry's break-in incidents. Is there any record of those and the details of that? Was Perry drinking at the time of the accident? What kind of student was he at school?

    It seems that the break-in's would be connected to reason that he had some trouble with the law and misdemeanor offenses on his record, so in that regard, probably wasn't a "good kid." Not enough issues to be a really "bad kid." However, the fact that he had a couple of break-ins and a poor driving record I think would raise some red flags for him and his family.

    Perry might have been warned about these issues if his parents were strict. Little things I am thinking about such as, did he have auto insurance? Was his license and registration with him and current?

    I still have those theories in my above post as to what happened to Perry. I think more information about his break-in cases, and relationships with his family would give us additional insight into his case. We also don't know how many other accidents Perry may have gotten into leading up this accident.

    Maybe he was read the "Riot Act" from his parents about the break-ins and his previous issues with the law and they told him, "next time, there will be serious consequences, watch it!"

    Perry gets into this fender bender, is terrified of these new consequences that his parents set forth, and just takes off for good. Not so much afraid to come home because of this one accident incident, but the cumulative effect of other problems and issues in his past. It was a compilation of negative things in his life, which forced Perry to flee.

    Satch
     
  20. dogperson

    dogperson New Member

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    It would have been dark outside in March by 8pm/8:30pm when this accident happened. I wonder how easy it would be to hitch a ride that time of evening in the snow, and how visible he would have been by the side of the road trying to thumb a ride. Anyone who stopped for him would have realized his car wasn't disabled because it was still running. This keeps leading me back to whether someone he knew pulled up beside him and let him in their car. Or, maybe someone who was the victim of one of his previous break-ins saw him there, stopped, pulled him into their car and took off with him, intending to teach him a lesson. It wouldn't be too difficult if you had a passenger to help you. But then what? Did they just intend to rough him up and something went wrong? You would expect there to be at least a couple of footprints near his car, because we know he had to get out. People don't just literally vanish into thin air.

    Overall, I tend to think he disappeared that day on purpose, at least for a while. It would have violated his probation though, and he would have been in even more trouble when or if he returned. So maybe he just decided not to come back. He could have taken another identity, which wasn't nearly as hard to do back then. I think there's a good possibility that the phone call to his brother was from him unless other people knew about the cartoon voices and somebody was just playing a prank.
     
  21. Satch

    Satch Active Member

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    Great insight Dogperson,

    There's a lot of things that don't make sense with this case. For example, as we have pointed out, how could someone disappear on a snowy night and not leave prints in the snow? If the call that his brother got years ago was Perry, what a cruel trick to play on the family! It's just horrible to do something like that! I think this was probably a friend of the brothers who knew that the Corlew brothers liked to mimic cartoon voices on the phone and this person was pulling a sick prank.

    If Perry was a joker, a character, a prankster of sorts, maybe he could have done something like this, but I think that is too far out of line even for a joking type of person to do that. What we don't know is Perry's relationship with the family and the terms of that. Was their drug or alcohol abuse, were their friendship problems. Issues with his parents? I think what is being overlooked here is the lack of information we have on Perry's past relationships with family and friends. Perry according to some sources, did speak about moving to California. Were the Corlew's phone records checked with regards to any calls that Perry made in the months leading up to his disappearance?

    What about the driver of the other car that Perry hit? What is known about him? Did he and Perry speak to each other before Perry took off? Was this car just sitting in the theater parking lot, and the owner of the car that Perry hit was inside the theater? Did Perry leave, not knowing anything about the owner of the other car, just that he smashed the headlight? (Did the headlight break on Perry's car or the other car-it would seem to be the other car.) Did the other driver have a temper? A police record? Or was the other driver just a causal guy/girl who would have been understanding about the accident and he/she could have worked with Perry and LE to resolve this on their own?

    Since there's no evidence that any close friends of Perry's were planning to start a new life along with him at the time of his accident, if that was what Perry was intending to do, I would almost suspect foul play. I can't rule out suicide, but that seems far-fetched. Many things about this case seem far-fetched.

    However, if the call that his brother Mike got, WAS Perry, than we know that he left to start a new life at about 70% certainty IMO. He could have been abducted, and looking to get away to make a call, which is why he could not reveal himself, I would put that at 30%. I am about 60% sure that call was a sick joke and NOT Perry.

    I think if we get more information on Perry's break-in's and other issues with the law, that I think is going to shed new light on this case more than a busted head-light fender bender. There is something big in this case, something dramatic that hasn't been uncovered. I believe that new information in this case could tell us whether Perry is alive, perhaps living under another name, or deceased.

    The only thing that I think many agree about, is that he panicked after that car accident based on other elements in his life, culminating with that, and took off. Whether or not he met a peaceful or tragic fate, sadly remains unknown.

    Satch
     

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