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Paul R. Hibbard

Missing Person Case September 2021

Hibbard, approximately 1976

Date reported missing : 05/28/1976

Missing location (approx) :
Gillette, Wyoming
Missing classification : Endangered Missing
Gender : Male
Ethnicity :
Age at the time of disappearance: 25 years old
Height / Weight : 5'10, 160 pounds
Distinguishing characteristics, birthmarks, tattoos : Caucasian male. Black hair, brown eyes. Hibbard has a scar on his abdomen. He may use the nickname Max.

Information on the case from local sources, may or may not be correct : Hibbard was last seen on May 28, 1976. He was a geologist from Mead, Colorado and worked for Berge Exploration, a company in Adams County, Colorado. He had worked there for two years and was considered a reliable employee.
A week before his disappearance, Hibbard had gotten a telephone call from someone who said they also worked for Berge Exploration, and that they needed him to bring his specialized van to a location in the Gillette, Wyoming area. The van was used to "log" or locate deposits of uranium, coal, oil shale and other minerals. Hibbard believed the call was a hoax and asked his boss about it, and his boss confirmed that no one in the company in the Gillette area needed the van.
On the day he disappeared, he was apparently performing a routine geological exploration trip in Gillette. His geological truck, which contained $30,000 in radioactive material, disappeared with him.
Hibbard's boss believed he might have been kidnapped and forced to work as a "logging operative" for an illegal geological exploration company; he stated Hibbard's specialized knowledge and sophisticated equipment would have been valuable to such a group. The radioactive element in the truck could have been dangerous to an inexperienced person, but it was safe as long as it remained inside its lead shield.
In July, police located almost $10,000 worth of Hibbard's geological equipment in the possession of an Upton, Wyoming resident, Joseph O. Dowdy. He was caught after he tried to sell the equipment to his employer, a company that logged and drilled for oil, gas and water wells. The equipment had been carried in Hibbard's truck, which was still missing at that point.
Dowdy was arrested and charged with grand larceny. He was questioned in Hibbard's disappearance, but didn't provide any firm leads as to his whereabouts. In January 1977, he pleaded guilty to grand larceny and was sentenced to one to three years in prison.
In August 1976, while Dowdy's larceny case was still pending, Hibbard's truck was found abandoned three miles northwest of Upton, Wyoming. An anonymous man called police with its location.
The truck was parked in a timbered area near a number of water pits. There was a great deal of human blood inside the cab; it was on the door, on the floormats and soaked into the seat. DNA testing wasn't available in 1976. The FBI typed the blood, but Hibbard's blood type is unknown.
Foul play is suspected in Hibbard's case, but it remains unsolved. He was engAge at the time of disappearance: d to be married at the time of his disappearance.

Other information and links : ncy

Campbell 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 25% 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.
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October 12, 2004. May 3, 2019; .

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