An autistic man who walked away from a group home leaves clues that he is still alive.

Gordon Page Jr.

Missing:

Gender: Male
DOB: 4/15/63
Height: 6’3”
Weight: 175 lbs.
Eyes: Blue
Hair: Red
Defining Characteristics: Tan birthmark on the side of his torso; when crossing streets, he turns eyes, but will not turn head
Remarks: Last seen 5/91

CASE DETAILS

Gordon Page, Jr. or “Gordie,” was born autistic, but his father, Gordon Sr., said it wasn’t until much later in his life that he was diagnosed:

“I guess maybe when he was real young, we thought something was wrong, but we didn’t know what. He didn’t walk like other kids and run like other kids. As he got older, you know, he’d just sit there and look around and didn’t even move.”

Gordon stole a truck and had an accident

However, according to Gordon Sr., Gordie showed a great propensity for memorization, especially when it came to baseball:

“I would say he probably had twenty five or thirty thousand baseball cards. He knew the names of every player, all the statistics of the cards, and he would just sit there and memorize them.”

Gordie’s mother, Linda, says Gordy didn’t realize he was slower than the other kids until he reached junior high:

“His peers started getting ahead of him. And when he needed to go into a special ed room, it bothered him. He had a hard time in 11th and 12th grade because he couldn’t keep up with everybody who was passing him by.”

Gordon’s father had to say goodbye

Gordie graduated from a Grand Rapids, Michigan high school in June of 1981. He was ready for his first job. His father helped him apply at a local grocery store:

“He said, ‘Dad, I got the job. I start Monday. Isn’t that great?’ And it made me feel so happy. And I dropped him off at work in the morning. And it made me feel proud as a father to see him working and to see him happy.

But soon, the store manager said that Gordie was having trouble talking to the customers.

His father’s coaching wasn’t enough. It just didn’t work out at the grocery store.

Linda and Gordon were worried about their son’s future. They asked a social worker to evaluate him. He was diagnosed as a schizophrenic. It was recommended that he start living in a group home. Gordon Sr. said they decided to give it a try:

“We went to visit a group home and the lady said he can’t stay there until he goes to see if he needs to be stabilized on medication in the hospital. So we did that. We finally agreed. And the doctor there put him on Ritalin and Valium. And Gordon wasn’t Gordon after that.”

Gordon Jr. disappeared from the group home

Eventually, Gordie was accepted by a well-regarded group home. There, his medication was adjusted and he started to feel better. In September of 1989, with Gordie in good hands, his parents felt they could finally relocate to Florida as they long planned. Gordie stayed behind in Michigan.

For several months, things went well. But one day while heavily medicated, Gordie stole a truck that was left running in the driveway of the home. According to Detective Chet Bush, Jr. of the Kent County Sheriff’s Department, Gordie was involved in a hit-and-run accident:

“We interviewed the lady who was the victim in the accident. She gave us a description which fit Gordon. Our officers then received another call, a call from one of our elementary schools that a person fitting Gordon Page’s description was at this elementary school wanting to teach a class. So we responded there and at that time, picked up Mr. Gordon Page.”

Gordie was sent to a county hospital. There, psychiatric social worker Bill Arnold evaluated him:

“He was brought in with a label of schizophrenia. People that are schizophrenic will, with medication, over a couple weeks, start to clear up in their thinking, and their behavior will come in line, and they start getting back more to normal. With Gordon, that didn’t work.”

After several months of intensive therapy, Bill realized that Gordie was not schizophrenic; he was autistic:

“Once we got him off all those medications and started treating him as possibly an autistic, and working on training and just giving him some respect, he was a totally different individual.”

The Pages found a different group home in Grand Rapids, one that specialized in autism.

On May 22, 1991, Gordon Sr. shared an emotional goodbye with his son:

“We kind of stood there and talked and we hugged and talked a little bit more and then we walked over to the van. And I said, ‘Everything’s going to work out.'”

As his father started to drive away, Gordie broke away from the orderlies and began pounding on the van:

“It’s very painful, now in retrospect. I wish I’d allowed him just to get in, crawl back, and just driven him home to Florida. But you don’t think of those things, and we didn’t know what we were going to be facing in the future.”

Four days after his father left, Gordie disappeared. An eyewitness reported seeing Gordie hitchhiking toward Interstate 96. A search of the area turned up no leads and Gordie has not been seen since. Linda Page says she and Gordon Sr. just want Gordie back:

“We’ll never stop looking for Gordie, because we love him. We’ve always been a close family. He would know that we want him back.”


Watch this case now on Amazon Prime in season seven with Robert Stack and in season three with Dennis Farina. Also available on YouTube with Dennis Farina. Various seasons available now on Hulu.

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65 Comments

  1. Andrew

    I remember this story when it was new. I really expected an update on this one.

    Reply

  2. Jane

    And lastly, Mrs. Page owes you zero explanations for she and her husband’s actions. Unless you know how the disability services works, it’s very easy to believe what the social workers, doctors, and psychiatric staff tell you. And if you don’t know the system, it’s very hard for you to advocate for your child.

    Stop punishing the family by blaming them for their loved one’s disappearance. They’ve paid for it enough.

    Reply

  3. Misty

    And lastly, Mrs. Page owes you zero explanations for she and her husband’s actions. Unless you know how the disability services works, it’s very easy to believe what the social workers, doctors, and psychiatric staff tell you. And if you don’t know the system, it’s very hard for you to advocate for your child.

    Stop punishing the family by blaming them for their loved one’s disappearance. They’ve paid for it enough.

    Reply

  4. Misty

    Dear Ms. Page:

    My son has autism as well, and I think about your son. It breaks my heart, as I see so many things that are similar to my own child.

    How reprehensible for anyone to blame Mr. and Mrs. Page. Unless you have a child with autism you have no idea how challenging it is…no idea. And being that he was born in the 1960’s, autism wasn’t as prevalent as it is now. How could they have known?

    The sad reality of any parent raising a kid with disabilities is knowing that we won’t be around forever, and that for some of our kids they will need care until they die. Mr. and Mrs. Page would have had to think of this eventually, whether they stayed in FL or in MI. Considering how terrible waivered services for people with disabilities are in FL, the Page’s made the right decision in having Gordy stay in MI.

    My heart goes out to the Page’s, and whatever the outcome I hope they find the answers they deserve.

    Reply

  5. Shurlock

  6. Melanie

    Help me please cops killed my father. It was in 1988 in Bexar county in San Antonio.

    Reply

  7. Truth

    Shame on the parents.. He was looking for you!! You lost your son!

    Reply

    • Parent of a special child

      Why the Hell are people blaming the parents, they did what the health professionals told them to do back then, No one knew what to do back then and those that say they do are only being aholes, the parents no matter what you think of them were doing was the health care professionals told them it is still done on a daily basis even in this day and time, people who judge, it must be nice living in your glass houses

      Reply

      • Lag2002

        “Linda and Gordon were worried about their son’s future. They asked a social worker to evaluate him. He was diagnosed as a schizophrenic. It was recommended that he start living in a group home. Gordon Sr. said they decided to give it a try:” Social workers are not health care workers! If someone told me my son needed to be put in a home, that person would be a physician or in this case a psychiatrist. When the home said he had to be on drugs before they would accept him, that should have been a major warning in and of itself. Even in 1991 there was enough data out there for them to have known this. No I am not a Dr., nurse or social worker. I am a parent who has lived this since my 35 year old was 12 yrs old. I never even considered putting him a home of any type. In 2012 he was injured & now has a brain injury. He was in a coma for 6 days and It was suggested I take him off life support. That didn’t happen either. Everyone wanted me to put him in a home, except me. I did put in in a day home so I could work but 1st time he came home with poopie pull ups, that stopped too. I quit working & earn a whole $230.00 a week taking care of him. It is tough I will admit but noone else will love and care about him, not just for him (which very few if any of those homes do). I already have his care for after I die taken care of. So please don’t try to convince me that leaving him a home not once but twice and moving was for his good.

        Reply

    • Parent of a special child

      Shame on you, must be nice living in your glass house

      Reply

  8. Anonymous

    My dear Lord Jesus, with all these negative comments I wonder where anyone’s compassion is. If for nothing else but the respect for the parents that have lost their loved one. They were following medical advice for the best interest of their son. Please keep your comments to yourself if you can’t be nice. I’m sorry we live in an age that doesn’t understand that if you can’t say anything nice don’t say anything at all, and if you have to say anything, pray instead for those involved. Now, I watched the episode that ended with Gordy fading into the back ground and was exhibiting some body movements and jerking. There is a man that is seen frequently walking up and down the North side of Bridge Street in Brighton Colorado on any given day. I have seen him even today, walking and a car pulled over and handed him some money saying, just go to church ok?. I have tried to talk with him once but he appeared to be agravated or uncomfortable, it resulted in me leaving. The manager at Safeway Grocers had said that he had an encounter with him and that the police may have called him Allen. He wears gloves and a jacket, sun glasses, and a hat on even the hottest of days like today. He has jerking motions and a solid walk, stiff, like if he were in a leg cast, but is not. My prayer is that in any case Gordy be reunited with his family and that the parents have the peace of our Lord Jesus that goes beyond understanding when one has a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ as Saviour.

    Reply

  9. Anonymous

    Im a former police officer, the reality is, with his condition he would not have gotton too far, most likely a truck driver got him to a point of not know where he was, gound by police and taken to hospital, uf they vould not locate missing person filed he be admitted to ling term state hospital.
    By this time if he didnt get into a hospital he met the wrong person and foul play.
    Its nice to thi k hes someplace good but doubtful

    Reply

  10. Anonymous

    I’ve got to say, how concerned were the parents if they left Gordie in Michigan in a group home, and moved to Florida? Couldn’t they have found a group home in Florida?

    Reply

    • Mary Hamilton

      We’ve got a son like Gordie and brought him home when other places never worked out.

      Reply

    • B. Klein

      The parents had to deal with autism when little was known of the condition. Those who were supposed to know advised Gordie’s parents that it was better for him to be placed in a group home. The parents spent a great deal of time and research in selecting just the right place for Jr. Then once Jr. entered the home, the parents were instructed NOT to have any communications with him for a period of time (I forgot if it was six weeks or 90 days). Thinking they were doing the right thing for their son, they followed the instructions. They have been brokenhearted all these years.

      Reply

    • lindy

      Exactly what I was thinking!

      Reply

    • m. ballard

      My thoughts exactly.

      Reply

  11. KG

    I remember watching this as a kid when it originally aired. I always thought this would be one that would be solved.

    Reply

  12. Gordie's family

    Just family reading this as It just came thru on computer screen. Thank you Unsolved Mysteries. He is always in our hearts.

    Reply

  13. Tammy

    My son was of the same disability as Gordy. He was lost two times while traveling from Florida to Maryland by Greyhound. I put out an East coast lookout with police. Thank God he was found both times. A person with this disability is very difficult to handle, not knowing the thoughts, what the next behavior can be…I feared my son…And loved him. May he rest in peace…He passed 5 yrs. ago at age 22, with lung cancer. I pray Gordy finds his way home. He does want to be with “mom” and “dad”. He’s a lost child no matter his age. God Bless.

    Reply

  14. LINDA PAGE

    THIS WAS JUST RECEIVED ON MY EMAIL AND I AM HIS MOM. GORDIE WAS 53 IN APRIL… SO IT HAS BEEN MANY YEARS. WE HAVE RECEIVED MANY MANY EMAILS FROM UNSOLVED MYSTERIES THROUGH THE YEARS … SO VERY MANY LOOK ALIKES. WE SEARCHED A LOT TO FIND A HOME IN FL FOR HIM, BUT AT THAT TIME NOTHING SUITABLE. WE HAD TO MOVE
    HERE FOR BUSINESS REASONS AND I WAS HEARTBROKEN TO LEAVE HIM IN MI.
    I NEVER EVEN WANTED HIM TO MOVE TO A GROUP HOME, BUT WE WERE ADVISED
    THAT IT WOULD BE BEST FOR HIM TO BECOME MORE INDEPENDENT. WE THINK OF
    HIM DAILY AND HAVE PUT HIM IN GOD’S HANDS A LONG TIME AGO … WE HAVE
    SEARCHED MANY STATES AND AFTER MY HUSBAND WAS HOSPITALIZED WE ASKED
    WHEN THERE WAS A LEAD OR PHONE CALL THAT WE NEED A PICTURE BEFORE WE TRAVEL… WE RECEIVED SEVERAL LOOK ALIKES … BUT NEVER GORDIE. YES, I KNOW
    THAT GORDIE WAS LOOKING FOR HIS DAD WHEN HE WALKED FROM THE GROUP HOME WHERE THE PERSON WHO WAS SUPPOSED TO BE WATCHING THE FEW MEN
    THAT LIVED THERE BUT WAS ASLEEP ON THE SOFA THAT DARK NIGHT. LIFE GOES ON AND HE IS ALWAYS IN OUR HEARTS AND ONLY GOD KNOWS WHERE OUR PRECIOUS
    SON IS. MY HEART GOES OUT TO ALL FAMILIES WHO HAVE MISSING LOVED ONES.
    GOD IS OUR STRENGTH AND GIVES PEACE FOR WE KNOW HE KNOWS ALL ABOUT IT.
    THANK YOU UNSOLVED MYSTERIES. THANK YOU ALL WHO CARE. OUR PRAYERS ONE DAY WILL BE ANSWERED. GOD’S BLESSINGS TO ALL. LINDA PAGE

    Reply

    • Tammy

      My autistic son was put in homes, camps, and detention centers before his diagnosis. While in a boys home near my home, my son awalled and found his way to me. He was all scratched up from sticker bushes and he slept with me that night just because he wanted to be with “mom”. He was 15. I had to send him back the next morning with the juvenile officers. I wish I could’ve protected him. I didn’t get any help for him at the time because he was only treated for his behaviors and not his disability. And I had no money to pay for help. He was lost on those highways three days before found… Blistered feet. He was treated like a guinea pig by switching medications constantly. I had to home school my son because he wasn’t social. My son couldn’t work. He was book smart. I tried him with living independent,. No luck. If I were you and had the money, I would do billboards in scattered areas around MI state. I believe in God and feel Gordy’s okay and will be found.

      Reply

      • Lag2002

        Tammy sad to say but disabled are still being treated for their actions, rather than the disability. So unfair for anyone to have to go thru that. Just wanted to point out that Gordon did not have any contact with law enforcement until he had been put in a home and ran away.

        Reply

    • Tammy

      My heart goes out to you. I wish I could help.

      Reply

    • Amanda

      I watched this as a young child and have always thought of Gordie. I still hope for a positive outcome.

      Reply

      • Brian

        Just saw Gordie’s story for the first time last night on Unsolved Mysteries and it deeply touched me. Hopefully now that Amazon is circulating his episode again some new information will come to light.

        Reply

    • Sylvia

      God bless you and your family. God is in charge. May you be comforted by his love and grace! My prayers are with you as a parent myself of a young man with Aspergers. I understand trying to figure out what to do especially when very little was known about the condition at the time. Bless you dear people! Sending love and light!

      Reply

    • Cecilia Sheppard

      Mrs. Page, I watched this story many years ago and always wondered what happened to your son. I so hope you will be reunited with him. Please disregard the unkind comments on this thread; you and your family made the best choices you could. God bless you all.

      Reply

    • Mark Gowings

      I just watched the story on a rerun of Unsolved Mysteries. I’m from Grand Rapids, but was never aware of this. I feel for you and your family. It must be a never ending agony of the deepest heartache, not knowing where Gordie is. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

      Reply

  15. Corrina Lee

    I remember seeing this episode on the re-runs. I know I probably saw it when Robert Stack hosted the tv show, but I was really little at the time so I wouldn’t remember any details being that young. It’s definitely heartbreaking. I’m in no way judging or criticizing the parents, but I would have never moved to Florida unless I was able to take my disabled child with me. My older brother has two disabled children and I know him and his wife would never move without taking their kids with them.

    That’s something that has made me wonder if he was trying to find his parents and that may be why he disappeared. I don’t know much about people with autism, but why else would he wander off?

    Reply

  16. LFA sr

    I saw this episode this morning at 5am and couldn’t go back to sleep. I really feel for his parents but I have to say how could you leave him there and move to Florida. I guess in the end all that matters is he’s missing and needs to be found.
    Gordie I know now with out a doubt you’ll be in my thoughts for the rest of my days god bless you friend and your parents, Louis A. Richmond, Va

    Reply

  17. Falcone

    The group behind unsolved are the hardest working most compassionate group I’ve ever researched. I can’t imagine the thousands of tips you all receive each day ever year and still treat each one as a legitimate possibility. It’s because of these people that these sad stories (like Gordys’ case) can be some of the most hopeful as well. You are appreciated for your hard work UM.

    Reply

  18. firstlady wishiwas

    well i am going to check into this some more via facebook and some other websites, but u cant always believe everything that u see or hear on the internet and talk, so i would really like to look into this some more for an accurate update to be able to get back on here to let everybody know as well..i do hope pray and wish the best for gordie but as some of u have already stated some people don’t always want to be found especially with gordie’s condition once they get out there on their own and feel reality and the difference of being without his parents and having to think and do for himself with no assistance from anyone and being somewhere that no one knows who u are its a life changing experience sometimes good sometimes bad but in the end we all always hope for the best…will definitely keep updated once something new develops..

    Reply

  19. M

    I want to know now will to look today

    Reply

  20. ANNE

    Gordon’s mother claimed they were “such a close family”,yet both she and her husband were planning to go off and live in Florida, and leave their Gordon behind in Michigan. I can’t imagine leaving a child like Gordon behind, he was living in a situation that left him without any real home. Naturally he’d miss his parents very much. Had I been his mother or father I’d have wanted to relocate him near where I planned to live, so I could visit him often. I think Gordon left the group home he was abandoned at and was trying to go find his parents. Totally heartbreaking !

    Reply

  21. Peter

    It’s funny how a story can affect you. This is the one Unsolved Mystery in which i still remembered the name Gordie, after all these years. Sad story.

    Reply

  22. Don

    I truly hope they find this man . I am a retired police detective , and would like nothing more than to reopen this case . It would however take a lot of help , and the cooperation of unsolved mysteries and any and all police agencies with information to this case .

    Reply

  23. Fallrain

    My first thoughts on Gordie is he’s in some city, living on the streets, going unnoticed. All large metropolitan cities are full of homeless with mental illness/es. I wouldnt think that he’s a functioning adult working somewhere living a somewhat normal life. I’m sure his illness has gotten worsr over the years.

    Reply

    • FellowAspie

      We are autistic. Not ill. There is no progression because it’s not a illnesses. We are just different. There is no reason to believe he couldn’t survive on his own with Asperger’s. Many of us do. Hopefully that is the case and he just wants to be left alone.

      Reply

  24. no name

    The mother and father are to blame for leaving him and are to blame for the way he is and don’t anyone hate on me for what I say because I know more about this than any of you

    Reply

  25. Angela

    Gordon Page Jr has always been on my mind since I saw his story when I was a kid. I hope that he is found one day, safe and sound.

    Reply

  26. Viento

    Post submitted by Bill Hatic; that states the Gordon Page Jr. Died; I THOUGHT that he was never FOUND.
    How is it that he’s Dead? If he was never FOUND??!

    Reply

  27. Bill Hatic

    I join condolences for the loss of Gordon Page Jr.

    Reply

  28. Patti Garner

    Gordie has not been found (sadly), but there is now a FB page devoted to him. Please visit it if you can:
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Where-is-Gordie/130388463644845

    Reply

  29. alie

    so i first saw his story on the re runs by denis farnia and it haunted me so sad that he is missing all this time nothing stood out to me in the showing then i found the orignal broadcast with robert stack which had more details on what was going on with gordie in terms of his illness. what caught my attention was a fireman said he saw someone matching gordies description trying to hitchhike. now if gordie in fact was hitchhike how come the person who picked him up did not come forward and say hey he was in my car and i picked him up at such and such a time and dropped him off at this location. now this person could have been not truthful and did some harm to him, he/she could have passed away and we would never know if they had gordie in the car. no one picked him up at all and he just continued to walk. or someone did in fact pick him up but they have not realised it was gordon and they have no idea he was ever missing or knows of his story

    Reply

  30. crystal fuller lewis

    there is this mentally challenged boy that I had just shared on facebook there are so many similarities but whoever first shared it back on march 10 didn’t put his where abouts I shared on my facebook and wrote to unsolved mysteries praying that its the same man and that him and his family can be reunited.

    Reply

  31. Jeff

    I feel bad for the parents and some of the remarks people are saying about them. It is not there fault. I hope Gordon finds his way home.

    Reply

  32. Janice

    I worked with a man named Gordon at a grocery store in Chicago a long ime ago. They have a lot of similarities.

    Reply

  33. Anonymous

    What kind of parent leaves their autistic child behind in a group and moves to a different state? The child is obviously going to struggle without proper support.

    Reply

    • Anonymous

      Please don’t be so quick to judge. Parents clearly tried very hard to get help for their son and 25 years ago even the “experts” got it wrong.

      Reply

  34. Diana

    There was a story on my Facebook feed that this man was found last week!

    Reply

  35. Eilene Moore

    Hello AKSCHILD. Please tell the police about this man that you suspect could be the missing Gordon. Could be one and the same.

    Reply

  36. akschild

    I know that this made sound odd, but there’s a man that lives in my neighborhood that bears a resemblance to an older version of this man. He worked at a nearby convenience store and after interacting with him it would not be a surprise if he were autistic. It’s likely simply someone that resembles him.

    Reply

    • Rey

      can we get an update on this comment ? Did you try to follow up with this person ? .. you just never know .. or maybe he doesn’t want to be ‘found’ .. anything’s possible

      Reply

    • Angie

      Omg call it in if it is him then it would be great! That he would be alive!

      Reply

  37. Gaby Garza

    I don’t know why they didn’t look for him. The cops and city should of stripped the city or where ever the group home was. I’m pretty sure they could of found something about him if they looked harder.

    Reply

  38. Maria

    My God please say this person has been found! This Story really touched my heart because my autistic son is 13 but I saw this when he was really young as well as this morning & I pray that this family will have some peace & justice because special needs people are smarter than we are but if we don’t take the time to see that then how can we know? Meanwhile please update us on this mystery please!!! Please find him if he’s not found already & let his parents rest knowing he’s OK & doing fine. Also I pray he’s not dead!!! Lord help him please!!!

    Reply

  39. sprinkles

    This one has always haunted me. Where ever you are, Gordon, whether on earth or in Heaven, I hope that you’re OK.

    Reply