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Anthony Ross Allen
Missing since October 1978 from Fort Smith, Sebastian County, Arkansas.
Date Of Birth: February 7, 1962
Age at Time of Disappearance: 16 years old
Height and Weight at Time of Disappearance: 6'1" - 6'2"; 135 lbs
Distinguishing Characteristics: White male. Brown hair; brown eyes.
Marks, Scars: Small mole on his cheek close to his nose. A cyst on his calf. Water on the knee.
Clothing: Wore Levi jeans, size 28x34 (or 35). Shoe size 10.5 or 11.
Other: Date of Disappearance entered as 10-01-78 in NCICCircumstances of Disappearance:
Allen has been missing from Fort Smith, AR since the end of 1978. He left home in October and stayed with friends nearby for a while.
A friend took Allen and another boy to the friend's uncle's in Oklahoma (McAlester, or thereabouts). The uncle found out that the police were looking for the boys, so he made them leave. This was either at the end of 1978 or early 1979.
The same friend then told Allen's mother that Allen and the other boy were staying with a man in Hartshorne, OK. The police arrived one day to tell the man that his horse was out, but the boys thought they were after them, so they left. Allen has never been heard from since.
It was very out of character for Allen not to call or stay in touch. He was extremely independent, but still very close to his family. It was also odd that he never contacted his friends again. Allen's parents were in contact with the FSPD and because of the circumstances, and the fact that he was a juvenile, he was considered a runaway.
Since the FSPD already knew that he was missing, a missing persons report was not officially filed until January of 1980. The report has since been lost.
If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
Fort Smith Police Department
Family Continues To Hope
April 7, 2004
By: Rusty Garrett
Members of Anthony Ross Allen's family cannot remember the last time they saw him.
Allen was 16, a Southside High School sophomore, and had developed a habit of disappearing for a few days, returning home and then taking off again. "He was always on the move," his younger sister, Laura Hood, said recently.
Despite his disappearances, Tony would keep in touch, usually with a phone call or a message relayed through a friend.
Allen's mother, Marilyn Allen, said she believes her last conversation with her son occurred at their home. He showed up with a friend and asked his sister to give them a ride to Kmart, where he intended to apply for a job.
"He acted like something was on his mind," Marilyn Allen said. "I remember noting that to myself."
Eventually, the Allens became worried about Tony. Thanksgiving and Christmas came and went and he did not call. Those holidays were the first of 25 Thanksgivings and Christmases that would pass without a word. Anthony Ross Allen has been missing since 1978.
The Allens began piecing together information about Tony. It led them to Hartshorne, Okla., where Tony and a friend reportedly stayed with a man with a reputation for taking in transients, runaways and people needing a warm meal or shelter.
Other than that, the Allens have nothing to tell them where their son and brother went from there, how he has spent the past quarter century, or even if he is still alive.
The youth's disappearance was reported to Fort Smith police, who first treated it as a case of a runaway juvenile. In 1980, the case was upgraded to that of a missing person.
Marilyn Allen said she periodically checked with police through the 1980s but they were unable to provide her any information about her son.
Hood said the family, having no other choice, went on with life. "But forgetting was never an option," she said.
Tony's parents and his three sisters have over the years followed up leads from people who thought they may have seen Tony at various locations and times.
"I can't tell you or even guess at the number of times we've put ourselves in vulnerable situations because of the slightest chance we might find him or find something out about him," Hood said. "It's not a complaint - just a fact. It's what we did."
Hood said she reached a point where she refused to talk about her brother or his disappearance.
In an article she wrote for the Doe Network, an organization devoted to locating missing persons and identifying crime victims, she said, "If the subject came up within the family, I left the room. If I was out somewhere and saw someone I thought would ask me about it, I turned the other way.
"My anger and resentment built up, but I'm not exactly sure why. Maybe it was because I felt betrayed, abandoned and angry at him for doing such a thing - but maybe Tony didn't betray or abandon me. Maybe he couldn't help it. Maybe it wasn't his fault."
Recently, the Allen family considered a memorial service for Tony, "something that would give us closure," Hood said.
But Tony's mother objected. She said she did not want a memorial service without knowing her son's ultimate fate.
"If he still walks the earth, I would like to know," Marilyn Allen said. "And if he does not, I would like to know where his remains are buried."
Her position has spurred the family to intensify its search that began a quarter century ago. The development and growth of communications and the resources of the Internet are helping them distribute and seek information in ways that did not exist when Tony Allen disappeared.
Hood said she happened upon an Internet account about a missing woman whose remains were unidentified for years until the efforts of dogged researchers finally enabled a family to learn the fate of their daughter who had been missing for years.
Linked to the story was the e-mail of Todd Matthews, a U.S. Media Director for The Doe Network.
Through his help, Hood has been able to post Tony's information and photos on the Doe Network Web site (Welcome to the Doe Network
) and to have his data entered in the National Crime Information Center, a network linking police law enforcement agencies nationwide.
A forensic artist with the EDAN (Everyone Deserves A Name) Project is working from old photographs to develop a picture of what Tony may look like now, at age 42.
Locally, the family is working with Fort Smith Police Detective Adam Holland, who Hood said has shown interest in the search. The family is working to put Tony's photograph before as many people as they can, hoping it will spark a memory that can lead them to him.
Hood admits that enlisting the help of the Doe Network in the search for Tony has in a way helped her find herself. Understandably nervous about the exposure and attention she receives in publicizing her brother's plight and the family's frustrating search for him.
Now she said she understands "any curiosity is out of genuine concern and for the express purpose of helping to find my brother."
"There is no right or wrong way to respond to this kind of crisis. There is no protocol for our situation," Hood wrote in the Doe article. "But after almost a lifetime of experience, I now know that there are compassionate people who truly care and want to help."
Kelly Jolkowski, Mother of Missing Jason Jolkowski
President and Founder,
Project JasonProject Jason - Assistance for families of the missing
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