The mysterious disappearance and tragic death of David Glenn Lewis

David Glenn Lewis was identified after 11 years, when a police officer discovered a photograph of his distinctive glasses in an online missing-persons report.

The baffling case of David Glenn Lewis has enticed the public’s attention for years. The strange sequence of events surrounding his disappearance and subsequent death has left investigators and loved ones searching for answers. In this article, we will dig into the details of this perplexing case, examining the timeline, investigation, and unresolved questions that continue to haunt those involved.

The tragic death of David Glenn Lewis. <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Wikimedia Commons</a> / MRU.INK
The tragic death of David Glenn Lewis. Wikimedia Commons / MRU.INK

The bizarre disappearance of David Glenn Lewis

On January 28, 1993, David Glenn Lewis left his law firm in Amarillo, Texas, claiming he was feeling unwell. Later that day, he made a gasoline purchase using his credit card. Despite his apparent illness, Lewis proceeded to teach his class at the college until 10 p.m., marking the last confirmed sighting of him in the Amarillo area. The following day, Lewis’s wife and daughter embarked on a shopping trip to Dallas, unaware that they would never see him again.

During their absence, a member of the Lewises’ church reported seeing David Lewis hurrying through the Southwest Airlines terminal at Amarillo International Airport. He appeared to be in a hurry and was not carrying any luggage. Later that evening, Lewis’s wife and daughter returned home, only to find their husband and father missing. Strangely, the VCR was still recording the Super Bowl XXVII, indicating that Lewis had been watching the game before his disappearance. His wedding ring and watch were found on the kitchen counter, along with two turkey sandwiches in the refrigerator.

The investigation

The investigation into David Glenn Lewis’s disappearance began in both Amarillo and Washington state. In Amarillo, police discovered Lewis’s red Ford Explorer parked outside the Potter County courthouse on multiple occasions. Inside the vehicle, they found his keys, checkbook, driver’s license, and gas station credit cards. An examination of Lewis’s financial activity revealed peculiarities, such as a $5,000 deposit into his bank account and the purchase of plane tickets in his name. These details raised questions about Lewis’ intentions and whether he had planned to leave the area voluntarily.

There were also speculations that Lewis’s work as a judge and lawyer may have made him enemies who wanted to harm him. Lewis had received death threats during his time on the bench, and he had recently represented a man involved in a murder case. However, no concrete evidence linked these factors to his disappearance.

In Washington state, the investigation focused on an unidentified decedent known as John Doe, who had been killed in a hit-and-run accident on State Route 24 near Moxee. The lack of identification on John Doe’s body led authorities to question if it could be David Glenn Lewis. Eventually, a Washington State Patrol detective named Pat Ditter stumbled upon a series of articles discussing the challenges of investigating long-term missing-person cases. Inspired by the possibility of using Google to aid the investigation, Ditter began searching for missing men who matched John Doe’s physical description. This search ultimately led Ditter to consider the possibility that John Doe was David Glenn Lewis.

The case was resolved

A restored image of David Glenn Lewis wearing the glasses that helped identify his body. Wikimedia Commons
A restored photo of David Glenn Lewis wearing the glasses that helped identify his body. Wikimedia Commons

Ditter’s suspicion that John Doe could be David Glenn Lewis was strengthened when he compared photographs of Lewis to those of the deceased John Doe. Although John Doe was not wearing glasses, Lewis’s distinctive glasses were found in the pockets of the clothing worn by John Doe when he was killed. Ditter contacted the Amarillo police, and DNA testing confirmed that John Doe was indeed David Glenn Lewis. The case was finally resolved, and Lewis was reburied closer to home.

Unanswered questions

While the identification of John Doe as David Glenn Lewis provided closure in some respects, it also raised additional questions. How did Lewis end up in Yakima, Washington, and what was he doing there? There were no direct flights between Amarillo and Yakima, and the long drive would have taken nearly 24 hours. Lewis’s family was unaware of any connections he had to the area, making his presence there all the more mysterious.

The family has maintained their belief that Lewis was abducted, although they concede the possibility that he went to Yakima voluntarily. They point out that Lewis was not wearing his glasses or the fatigue-style clothing found on John Doe when he was killed. These discrepancies add to the enigma surrounding Lewis’s final days.

Final words

The case of David Glenn Lewis remains a haunting tale of disappearance and tragedy. Despite the identification of John Doe as Lewis, many questions remain unanswered. The circumstances surrounding Lewis’ journey to Yakima, his activities there, and the motive behind his disappearance continue to puzzle investigators and loved ones alike. The mysterious disappearance and death of David Glenn Lewis serve as a reminder that some cases defy resolution, leaving behind a trail of unanswered questions and shattered hopes for closure.

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