About two weeks ago I sat on my back porch having a long talk with Angie Hamilton by phone. I was on my porch in New York and she was at her home in Texas. Her son Johnathan Lee Hamilton has been missing since May 4, 2015. She has been lied to by people she should be able to trust and taken advantage of by scammers claiming to be holding her son hostage. Her heart is absolutely broken. Like all the families of the missing I have interviewed over the years, she fears for the worst and hopes for a miracle.
Let’s get to the particulars first. Johnathan is a handsome young man, 29 years old (27 at the time of his disappearance.) He is disabled due to a mental health diagnosis and type 1 diabetes. He requires medication. When he disappeared two years ago, he did not have his medication with him. May 4, 2015 started out like any other day. Johnathan went to the local coffee shop to get himself a coffee and returned with a drink for his 12-year-old sister—who adores him. He then had to take off, presumably to run some errands. The last interchange he had with anyone was that he told his father that the dog needed to go inside. He was concerned the dog would run in the road and get hit by a car.
By nightfall, the family knew Johnathan was in trouble. He never had not returned home and he did not have his medication. Also weighing on their minds, just two nights prior Johnathan had been rushed to the ER due to complications of his diabetes. They contacted the police and hospitals. No one had seen Johnathan.
Then things get very strange. On May 4th, two very long harrowing days for the Hamilton’s, Johnathan’s gray, 2008, GMC Envoy is located in the Best Buy parking lot in Bastrop Texas. The police, in the call to the Hamilton’s indicate Johnathan is with the car. Bastrop is a three-hour drive from the Hamilton’s home. They hop in the car and race to Bastrop. When they arrive, Johnathan is not there. One officer insists he saw Johnathan with the car. They do not know where Johnathan went. Later the family will ask the officer how he ascertained Johnathan’s ID. The officer will claim he asked for Johnathan’s driver’s license. Angie will find Johnathan’s driver’s license in his bedroom at home. Johnathan forgot to take his license with him that day. The Hamiltons hit the streets of Bastrop in attempt to find their son. They canvased all the nearby businesses. No one recalls anyone fitting his description. The Hamiltons will spend many heavy hours in the coming days in Bastrop. No one has ever recalled seeing Johnathan.
On May 5th, Angie receives a strange and largely incomprehensible message from her son on a cell phone. The owner of the cell phone is located and he tells the police Johnathan approached him in the street and asked to use his cell phone. He is called a “good Samaritan” and he is the only person, besides the police officer who “ID’d” Johnathan, who has seen Johnathan since he left his home. Later, it is determined by the Hamilton’s that the “good Samaritan” and the police officer who ID’d Johnathan are, coincidentally, friends. When I ask Angie if she is 100% sure it was her son on the phone, she hesitates. She is sure of one of two things: if it was Johnathan he was in desperate need of medical attention or it wasn’t him.
The Hamiltons had driven Johnathan’s car home. It was out of gas when the police found it in Bastrop. They had paid little attention to the car, their immediate concern was to locate their son. When Johnathan’s father finally inspects the car, he finds blood near the roof light. He calls the police. They come and cut out the section where the blood is located. They later determine it is “animal blood.” Johnathan is not a hunter. There is no reason for any sort of blood to be in his car.
The Hamilton’s are taken to the police station where they are each grilled separately for four hours.
Angie has spent every waking moment in the past two years looking for Johnathan. Since his disappearance and subsequent phone call no has heard from or seen Johnathan Hamilton. Angie feels all her work has been disregarded and thwarted. She even had a police officer tell her that she “had too much time on her hands.”
I want to end with two thoughts. The first, is if you are reading this and know anything about the disappearance of Johnathan Lee Hamilton, it is time to come forward. This family is suffering in ways that are unimaginable. If you need to give information anonymously, it is easier than you think. I recommend doing it through a lawyer. The communications between a lawyer and client are confidential. The reason I recommend this way is if law enforcement has follow up questions they can be done through the lawyer. Another way is an anonymous phone call. Write out exactly what you want to say and call. Keep it short and factual. There are still enough public phones that you should be able to find one. Don’t worry about repeating what you say or answering questions. The call will be recorded. Read what you have to say and hang up. Speak in a weird accent if you want to disguise your voice. You may also send an anonymous letter. I recommend typing it. If you are Roman Catholic, you can tell a Roman Catholic priest during confession. Priests may not reveal to anyone what was said during confession. You can approach a minister or therapist but their communications are NOT protected. However, ministers and therapists can give you general advice. You can tell them you have information on a missing person and they can help you do the right thing.
The second thought I want to end with is the fact that if Johnathan was a blond haired, blue-eyed, white girl whose convertible was found in the Best Buy of Bastrop Texas and not a disabled man of a family living on social security, the police would be searching every hill and dale. No physical search has been done for Johnathan by the police. In one of the most recent communications I had with Angie she was expressing her frustration about the search for Johnathan. She wrote, “You see, my son is a human being he matters to us.” Every single missing person is a human being. They all deserve the same dignity and integrity in the search process.
I’ll be doing regular updates on Johnathan and all the missing people I cover. Please feel free to email me with questions, comments, concerns or information.
Johnathan Lee Hamilton
Johnathan is considered ENDANGERED MISSING. He has type 1 diabetes and requires medication.
Weight: 210 lbs
Hair Color: Brown
Eye Color: Brown
Last seen: May 2, 2015 at his family home in Houston Texas
Clothing: “EZEKIAL” on the front, blue jean shorts, brown Coleman Brand suede like tennis shoes and possibly a white or cream colored backpack “old school” with draw string.
Car found: May 4, 2015 in the Best Buy parking lot, Hwy 71 in Bastrop Texas. Gray, 2008 GMC Envoy with license plate CDM 1740
Identifying Marks: He has a small scar on right eye and a scar on right hip.
Johnathan was last seen on May 2, 2015 by family in Houston, TX. Johnathan’s gray 2008 GMC Envoy, TX Tag CDM *1740 was located in the Best Buy parking lot on hwy 71 in Bastrop, TX on May 4, 2015.
If you have any information on Johnathan, please contact:
Detective Vicky Steffanic, Bastrop Police Department, 104 Grady Tuck Lane, Bastrop, TX 78602. Phone: 512-332-8603