Iowa-Johnny Gosch

Missing since: 09/05/82
Missing from: West Des Moines, Polk County, Iowa.
Classification: Non-Family Abduction
Date Of Birth: 11/12/69
Age at disappearance: 12
Weight :140
Distinguishing Characteristics: White male. Light brown, short hair; blue eyes.
Marks, Scars: Gosch has facial freckles. He has a horseshoe-shaped scar on his tongue and a birthmark on his left cheek.
Clothing: A white sweatshirt with Kim’s Academy imprinted on the back, warm-up pants and blue rubber thong sandals.
Dentals: There is a gap between his front teeth.
Nickname: Johnny

Circumstances of Disappearance
Gosch disappeared while conducting his newspaper route in West Des Moines, Iowa on September 5, 1982. He was tailed by his dachshund, Gretchen. Gosch was seen speaking to a male suspect while working his paper route on 42nd Street and Marcourt Lane. Gretchen returned home without her master. Because of the Gosch case, Iowa passed a law requiring immediate investigations of missing children.
Gosch disappeared from the same vicinity as Eugene Wade Martin did in October of 1984 and Marc James-Warren Allen in March of 1986. Martin also vanished while working his newspaper route; It has not been proven that these three cases are related in any way, but it is worth noting the similarities.

Gosch’s mother claimed that her son is alive and that he visited her in 1997. She announced her revelations during a 1999 pedophile crime organization trial in Nebraska. Gosch’s mother said that he came to her Iowa apartment in March 1997 with an unidentified male friend. She claims that Gosch told her he was abducted by members of a pedophile crime organization and he escaped from the group at an undetermined time. Gosch’s mother also said that her son was in fear of repercussions from the group and that was the reason he chose to remain “underground.” She stated that she has had no further contact with her son since his 1997 visit and that she remained silent about the event until called as a witness in court because she fears for Gosch’s safety.

West Des Moines Police Department
Iowa Missing Person Information Clearinghouse

If you have any information on this case please contact CUE Center For Missing Persons using the contact form below or contact Cue Center at (910) 343-1131 24 hour tip line (910) 232-1687

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