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Missing

Terry Steven Fox










Missing Person Case September 2021


Fox, approximately 1988




Date reported missing : 07/03/1988

Missing location (approx) :
Sacramento, California
Missing classification : Endangered Missing
Gender : Male
Ethnicity :
White


DOB : 03/26/1950 (71)
Age at the time of disappearance: 38 years old
Height / Weight : 5'3 - 5'6, 105 pounds
Distinguishing characteristics, birthmarks, tattoos : Caucasian male. Blond hair, blue eyes. Fox may have a tattoo of the name "Betty Lee" on the left side of his chest. He has a receding hairline and may have facial stubble. He was in a car accident two months before his disappearance and broke both legs; he an intramedullary rod implanted in one or both hips as a result. Fox has two holes in his penis as the result of a birth defect. His teeth were in very poor condition in 1988 and many were chipped or cracked.





Information on the case from local sources, may or may not be correct : Fox was reported missing by two friends who stated they last saw him in Sacramento, California on July 3, 1988, but others reported seeing him on July 10, a week later. He has never been heard from again.
Fox had cared for his elderly, disabled father, and the two men shared an apartment until they were evicted. They then moved to transient camps. Two days before Fox's disappearance, his sister sent him $100 via Western Union.
Rickie John Mersman is considered a suspect in Fox's disappearance. He, his wife and another man were charged with murdering another transient man in December 1989.
In 1987, one of Mersman's relatives went to the police and said he'd killed two fellow transients. She stated she got the information from her brother, who heard the story from Fox and another man. One of the two witnesses said Mersman had personally shown them the victims' bodies and described how he'd murdered them.
Investigators were able to locate the bodies of the two murder victims, but could only identify one of them. Fox was considered a witness in the murder.
However, no charges were filed against Mersman in the 1987 murders. He was arrested six months later and imprisoned an unrelated parole violation in Oregon. Shortly after his release, Fox disappeared.
While visiting relatives in Oregon after Fox's disappearance, Mersman bragged about killing him and disposing of his body. One of his relatives secretly taped his statements and gave the recordings to the police, but they stated they were unable to corroborate the confession.
Mersman later pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter in the 1989 homicide and was sentenced to 22 years in prison. His male accomplice pleaded guilty to the same charge; his wife was apparently not convicted, and died in Oregon in 2009.
Investigators believe Mersman may have murdered as many as five transient men during the late 1980s, but he has not been charged in any other murders. Fox's body has never been found. Foul play is suspected.


Other information and links : ncy

Sacramento Police Department
916-808-0650



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.
California Attorney General's Office
The Sacramento Bee




October 12, 2004. April 22, 2012; Information on the case from local sources, may or may not be correct : updated.
















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