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

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I'm wondering if Perry could have been the victim of a hit and run that night after he left his car? It was dark, raining, snowing, and there was both snow and ice in the area. Could he have stopped his car and got out into the path of another vehicle? The other driver panicked and took his body with him to dispose of?

Another option is that Perry may have hit his head on the windshield. Cars I drove in that time period didn't have air bags. Many people I knew back then sat on their seat belts instead of wearing them. He could have a concussion that didn't give him any symptoms until after he drove away.

Either way, I suspect Perry died that night or soon after. Those woods seem like the most likely spot to find his remains.
 

Perry Otto Corlew, age 18, Missing since 15 March 1974​

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Perry, circa 1974; Last photo age-progression to age 45 (circa 2001)

This March will mark 50 years since Perry was last seen.

Perry was last seen in Grayling, Michigan on March 15, 1974. He got into a motor vehicle accident in front of the Rialto Theater at 8:30 p.m., while driving a green 1971 Buick Skylark he was in the process of purchasing. The accident was a minor one; no one was injured and Perry only broke a headlight.

Perry drove away from the scene before the police could arrive. His family believes he did so because he had a poor driving record and was on probation for breaking and entering. 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 Perry at the scene. There were also no footprints in the snow around the vehicle. He has never been heard from again.

There were several possible sightings of him in the years following his disappearance, and his brother thought Perry tried to call him, but none of the contacts have been confirmed.

Perry'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.

LINK:

 
Couple of questions and observations.

Im not sure that the lack of footprints in the snow is at all conclusive unless we can see a photo of the scene.
Looking at the weather report of the time posted earlier it seems like it wasn't snowing heavily but was more sleet and hail. We'd need to know how much snow was actually on the ground at that point, and of course, if the ground is frozen you don't leave footprints so if you avoid stepping on snow you're good. When they found the car it was pitch black, maybe they just didn't see them? Also since the motor was running wouldn't the heat from the engine melt the snow around the car depending how long it had been there?

Regarding the phonecall...it does seem very coincidental. What I'd like to know is whether the brother was still living in the same house with the same phone number? I know he could use directories but that seems something more planned and if this was a genuine call it seems more spur of the moment to me, like he saw a cartoon on TV and it brought back happy memories and he thought he'd call his brother.

I was trying to think of a logical reason for him to stop where and how he did and I could only come up with LE pulling him over, which seems to have been raised as a theory before.
 
IMO, the way Perry reacted to this "fender bender" was one of panic. Was he in more trouble with the law than his family thought? Maybe he was under the influence at the time. I lean towards him leaving at his own will. One would think he would eventually, through the years, contact his family to say he's ok...then again, maybe he did.
 
It seems one way or another this was related to the accident or it's next act. I can't find what I'd posted some time ago (because, naturally, right now because my pages are hiccupping when I try to load backwards).

It's possible he was under the influence and getting progressively worse, held it together at the scene, then bugged out and fled. But hammered or not, I find it unlikely he'd he stop where the car was found. Unless he had the epiphany he was going to kill himself Or others) and go to jail if he kept driving. Perhaps he thought it a good idea to get away from the car asap and sober up (a la Maura Murray, IMO). If he was really intoxicated, and trying to weight the risks, leaving his car like that may have seemed like a perfectly rationale thing to do.

The other scenario is he was followed by whoever was in the other car, got off the highway and was confronted by one or more people who said how they really felt now that they weren't in public and w/o witnesses.
 
Then one of those passengers drove Perry's car back to where it was found, left it as it was found and simply got back in the original car which followed him back. That would take seconds, and not appear overly suspicious even if you you saw the whole process of the driver getting out, walking to the other car, getting in and leaving. Not likely with cars in motion with drivers who are watching the road. If you did glance over and happened to see a person at all and not just one or two cars, I think the average person would think they were witnessing a good Samaritan helping another driver who ran out of gas or got a flat. You see what you assume you are seeing based on experience. Unless something remarkable happened, like the driver was naked or there was a fight going on, you might not even notice. Even if it was a police car and Perry's car and he was put in the back of the police unit. We've all passed a police stop in progress...for your last one, what was the make/model of the car, hair color of the driver and the number of passengers?
 
Researching this case, I was seriously creeped out when I read about the phone call his brother had in 1992. The caller was mimicking cartoon voices, then hung up before Perry's brother could respond. Perry's brother said mimicking cartoon voices was something they did as kids, but who would have known that after 18 years? Therefore, it was either Perry himself or just a random prank call. Still, I find it extremely unsettling.

I'm wondering if Perry was under the influence of drugs when he had his accident? That could be the cause of both the accident and his subsequent disappearance. If he was already on probation for breaking and entering, the last thing he'd want to do is get charged for a DUI. The panic and the drugs heightening his anxiety, he may have decided to abandon the vehicle and set off on foot, only to die of exposure somewhere.
 
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I have often thought for Perry to have reacted the way he did over a fender bender, he prob was under the influence or was in some trouble for something prior that his parents weren't aware of. Would explain him fleeing..
Maybe the cartoon voices to his brother was Perry. A way of letting him know that he was alive...
 
Driving on the interstate, it's dark, cold, and snowy. Perry puts the car in park, leaves the car running with its lights on, exits the vehicle, and doesn't shut the door.. literally abandoning the vehicle. He was obviously in a hurry and a panicked state of mind. This was 90 min after the accident. Does anyone now how far it is from the theater to the interstate where the car was found? Does it take that long [90 min] ...if not, what was Perry doing in between the fender bender and the interstate?
 
Driving on the interstate, it's dark, cold, and snowy. Perry puts the car in park, leaves the car running with its lights on, exits the vehicle, and doesn't shut the door.. literally abandoning the vehicle. He was obviously in a hurry and a panicked state of mind. This was 90 min after the accident. Does anyone now how far it is from the theater to the interstate where the car was found? Does it take that long [90 min] ...if not, what was Perry doing in between the fender bender and the interstate?
The original post says the car was 15 minutes away from the town. It also says no footprints were visible in the snow around the car. My opinion is the car probably was in that same spot idling for most of the 90 minutes with Perry gone from the car.
 
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Doe Network and Charley Project states 90 min later, his car was found.
That's why it would be helpful to now how long it takes to get from the theater to the spot where the car was found running. Granted, the car could have been idling for quite sometime or Perry was elsewhere before heading to the interstate.
 
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Doe Network and Charley Project states 90 min later, his car was found.
That's why it would be helpful to now how long it takes to get from the theater to the spot where the car was found running. Granted, the car could have been idling for quite sometime or Perry was elsewhere before heading to the interstate.
The Charley site says the car was 15 miles away on the interstate so the driving time would be 15 minutes at 60 MPH or 30 minutes at 30 MPH. That assumes a trip straight there. He could have driven indirectly and it took longer. But the fact they say no footprints sure makes me think the car sat there some time before being reported/found.
 
The other hypothetical possibilities we have are those of a UID in the database Namus but it still doesn't match with him or he really has made a new life somewhere else with another name, with another alias.
 
Recall, that Perry and his brother Mike would mimic cartoon characters when they were kids. Mike answered the phone in 1992, and somebody on the other end of the line Mike thought was mimicking cartoon characters. "Perry? Perry is that you?!" Mike asked, the caller responded with "Perry Who?" and hung up the phone.

If this is an exact description of how the call went down it sounds very random. The other, more common description leans more info wishful thinking. There's a big difference between them.
 

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