Ronald Joe Cole
Cole, approximately 1965
Date reported missing : 05/01/1965
Missing location (approx) :
Missing classification : Endangered Missing
Gender : Male
DOB : 09/21/1945 (75)
Age at the time of disappearance: 19 years old
Height / Weight : 6'1, 140 pounds
Distinguishing characteristics, birthmarks, tattoos
: Caucasian male. Brown hair, hazel eyes. Cole has a scar on his left cheek.
Information on the case from local sources, may or may not be correct : Cole was last seen in Fillmore, California on May 1, 1965. He had moved from San Diego, California to stay with his half-brother, David LaFever, in Fillmore earlier that year. He was still looking for a job when he disappeared. He has never been heard from again.
David and his wife, Margaret, were arrested in Arizona in 1983. They were charged with multiple counts of child abuse and child pornography in connection with an 11-year-old girl who posed as their daughter, but wasn't actually related to them.
After the arrest, investigators discovered David had told friends and family members he murdered Cole.
Margaret's 20-year-old brother, Jon Brian Skaggs, disappeared in 1977. His body was found in a shallow grave near the LaFevers' former home in Galt, California in July 1984. He had been shot to death.
Investigators named David as the prime suspect in Skaggs's murder and Cole's disappearance, but neither of the LaFevers were charged in connection with either case.
Cole's disappearance remains unsolved. Foul play is suspected.
Other information and links : ncy
Ventura County Sheriff's Department
September 2021 updates and sources
California Attorney General's Office
The Sacramento Bee
October 12, 2004. October 17, 2008; middle name added, Information on the case from local sources, may or may not be correct : updated.
Interactive Missing Person Search Map