Trusted local news leader for Williams AZ and the Grand Canyon
Thu, July 09

Investigation points to homicide in case of missing teenager<br>

The search area was based on reports given by three friends he reportedly accompanied into the woods for a party. According to their accounts, he had gone with the three, who were between 18-21 years old, to smoke methamphetamine. He and one young man became separated from the other two, who were found the next day along the Grand Canyon Railway tracks.

The friend who stayed with Justin said he fell asleep after coming off his high and woke up to find his companion gone from the Road Tank area near Forest Service Road 328.

At the time investigators interviewed everyone involved, and considered the possibility that Justin may have run away to be with a girlfriend in Chicago. While they said they didn’t believe foul play was involved, they also didn’t rule it out.

The case has remained open since Justin was reported missing.

According to John Richardson, new developments over the past year have convinced him that his son is no longer alive and never went into the woods on June 29, 2001, the last day anyone reported seeing him alive.

He said he also believes that Justin’s body, which has not yet been found, is nowhere near the original search area.

“I would like to take this opportunity to reach out to others that may have any information that could help bring closure to this nightmare,” he said.

Report information regarding the case to the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office at 928-774-4523 or 800-338-7888.

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