David Earl Whitehurst
Whitehurst, approximately 1992
Date reported missing : 04/17/1992
Missing location (approx) :
Missing classification : Endangered Missing
Gender : Male
DOB : 06/22/1951 (70)
Age at the time of disappearance: 40 years old
Height / Weight : 5'8, 170 pounds
Medical conditions : Whitehurst is an alcoholic.
Distinguishing characteristics, birthmarks, tattoos
: Caucasian male. Brown hair, brown/hazel eyes. Whitehurst has a scar on his left eyebrow.
Information on the case from local sources, may or may not be correct : Whitehurst was last seen in Tampa, Florida on the evening of April 17, 1992. He flew out of Vandenberg Airport in a leased plane and has never been heard from again. He left his silver Dodge Stealth at the airport, with his keys and wallet inside it.
Weather conditions in the area were rough at the time of Whitehurst's disappearance, and he was not an experienced pilot, having gotten his license only the month before. His father believes he ran into bad weather and crashed into a remote wooded area. The Civil Air Patrol didn't begin to look for him until April 21, and Whitehurst hadn't filed a flight plan, making search efforts difficult.
There is speculation that Whitehurst either left of his own accord or met with foul play. He owned a debt-collecting business, Continental Recovery Systems, and was having problems with it at the time of his disappearance: he had decided to cancel a pending merger with another company, and he had filed a lawsuit against two former employees.
He was well-known locally and due to the nature of his business, he had many enemies and had been threatened before. Whitehurst's lawyer said that in the weeks before his disappearance, someone had been following him.
Whitehurst was divorced with one teenAge at the time of disappearance: son at the time he went missing. Searchers never found any sign of him or his plane, which was a single-engine Piper PA 28-181. The plane is colored beige with brown, orange and white stripes, and the registration number is N4319N.
Whitehurst's case remains unsolved and the circumstances of his disappearance are unclear.
Other information and links : ncy
Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office
September 2021 updates and sources
A missing person is a person who has disappeared and whose status as alive or dead cannot be confirmed as their location and condition are not known. A person may go missing through a voluntary disappearance, or else due to an accident, crime, death in a location where they cannot be found (such as at sea), or many other reasons. In most parts of the world, a missing person will usually be found quickly. While criminal abductions are some of the most widely reported missing person cases, these account for only 2–5% of missing children in Europe.
By contrast, some missing person cases remain unresolved for many years. Laws related to these cases are often complex since, in many jurisdictions, relatives and third parties may not deal with a person's assets until their death is considered proven by law and a formal death certificate issued. The situation, uncertainties, and lack of closure or a funeral resulting when a person goes missing may be extremely painful with long-lasting effects on family and friends.
Several organizations seek to connect, share best practices, and disseminate information and imAge at the time of disappearance: s of missing children to improve the effectiveness of missing children investigations, including the International Commission on Missing Persons, the International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children (ICMEC), as well as national organizations, including the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children in the US, Missing People in the UK, Child Focus in Belgium, and The Smile of the Child in Greece.
Florida Department of Law Enforcement
The St. Petersburg Times
The Tampa Tribune
Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office
October 12, 2004. April 18, 2018; two pictures added.
Interactive Missing Person Search Map