A mentally ill man leaves home and never returns.

James Kimball, a young man with short brown hair and a brown collar shirt in front of a row of trees.

James Kimball


Gender: Male
DOB: 12/28/68
Height: 5’7”
Weight:165 lbs.
Eyes: Green
Hair: Brown
Defining Characteristics: Has horizontal red marks on his back. He has also been diagnosed as manic-depressive.


Jim Kimball had grown up in Oak Park, Illinois, the sixth child in a large and loving family. According to his sister, Sharon Tomecek, Jim was always shy:

“That made him more sensitive than other people.”

A hand presses a button on stereo.

Jim got angry when trying to work a stereo

But all of that changed on August 16, 1982. Jim was just thirteen when his father suddenly died of a heart attack. As the family gathered to say goodbye, only Jim appeared unaffected by the tragic loss. He was very quiet, refused to cry and showed little, if any, emotion. It was the first overt sign that something was wrong, terribly wrong. Barely noticed in the midst of the family’s grief, was the fact that a time bomb was ticking away inside of Jim Kimball… a time bomb that would explode almost three years, to the day, after his father’s death.

As teenagers, Jim and his brothers formed their own garage band. Jim played the drums. According to his brother Tom, he first noticed something was wrong with Jim during a jam session shortly after their father’s death:

“He was acting strang, and I was afraid for him. There came a point where it was like, we better bring him to the hospital or something, because we didn’t know what he was going to do next.”

Jim was diagnosed with schizo-affective disorder–a mental disturbance characterized by unusual thoughts and severe mood swings. Jim required medication to control his condition. The next eight years were marked by a series of hospitalizations, relapses and recoveries. Nevertheless, Jim managed to graduate from high school and hold a few jobs. Eventually, he moved into a halfway house, approximately ten miles from home.

A man in a denim shirt and jeans walking down an empty road.

An officer stopped Jim and let him go

Everything seemed normal until Easter weekend, 1993. According to his mother, Francine, Jim showed up at her house earlier than expected that day:

“I was pretty surprised that he would go through all that trouble to walk home, you know. All the family was together, we had a nice turkey dinner for Easter. Everything seemed to be pretty good.”

But the next day, the tranquil atmosphere was shattered. According to his brother, Tom, Jim became frustrated with the family’s new stereo system:

“You know, I was having lunch and I heard from downstairs a commotion. And I said hey, you know, if you’re not feeling well, you should go to the hospital, but he said that he wasn’t going to go to the hospital, he’d take care of things. And so we just cleaned things up, and then he left… that was the last I saw him.”

A missing poster for James Kimball.

Have you seen Jim Kimball?

Jim had vanished. The Kimballs immediately launched a frantic search of the neighborhood. The family made phone calls, searched homeless shelters, and distributed “missing person” flyers all across the country. But eleven months went by with no sign of Jim. Then, a promising lead came in March of 1994. Just outside of South Bend, Indiana, ninety miles from the Kimball’s home in Oak Park, Indiana State Trooper Todd LaBonne found Jim lying on the ground:

“He appeared to be under the influence. But the result of the test showed zero zero on the alcohol sensor. When I saw the flyer I’d say three to four weeks later, the picture on the flyer matched the description of the individual I’d spoke with.”

But with nothing to hold him on, Officer LaBonne let Jim go. It would be the last time anyone saw Jim Kimball alive.

Jim’s family is still searching for him and they are worried that, without medication, he will never find his way home. Jim Kimball is 5’7″ tall and weighs 165 pounds. He has green eyes and his brown hair may still be long and parted in the middle.

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




  1. Corey

    The Actor that played Jim Kimball looked a lot like Actor Charlie Sheen from 2 and a half men. I hate to say this but I doubt that Jim Kimball is alive in today’s time. He most likely died very many years ago but if he is alive in today’s time he probably don’t want to be found at all because of his anger about his Dad’s Death in 1982. If he’s not alive I pray to God Jesus Christ and hope he’s in Heaven with God Jesus Christ and his Dad reunited


  2. Anonymous

    Wherever you are Jim, Please find a police station and try to at least tell them who you. Where you live. Don’t be scared. Police are here to serve and protect. God bless you
    I’m sorry for the loss of your father and not long, Your mother passed away. There are some things I dream about Learning of your disappearance. It sounds like fowl play? Maybe kidnapped. God knows everything what he was trying to go for a walk. And the reason why you never returned to your home. To the maybe kidnappers. I hope you see this website and the comments. Tell us your demands.


  3. Sks

    He was obviously autistic


  4. Charles

    He likely perished from exposure or died in the woods from dehydration or starvation. Or maybe he really does not want to be found. His dad’s death seemed to have caused a mental break.


  5. Kevin

    Did the actor Wes Bentley play Jim in this segment?


  6. Bill Blaski

    This case reminds me of Gordon Paige. Wish people had the time to run thru namus. Inputting a state/county then the the missings blood type/height weight etc. would love to know how many unclaimed bodies there are in each state. Sounds like a good non profit idea


    • Deanna Tripodo

      Yes reminds me of Gordon Paige also. I watch reruns of Unsolved mysteries and when there isn’t an update I Google the name of the missing person. It baffles me that so many are still unfound. Jim Kimball and Gordon Paige tug at my ❤️. I hope they are safe with God


  7. Steven

    How is he died?


  8. Dan W

    Are there any updates on this case? This is just a guess, but he might of left to start a new life. Let face it, even if he did get better, people were still going to treat him like a mental patient. He probably just fed up with it and just left.


  9. Bill

    Excited that Unsolved mysteries is back on lifetime TV July 5th! Just watched the episode on Jim. I pray he’s still alive and living his life.


  10. Anonymous

    Sorry to break it to you, But Jim K. Is dead. He probably died in the woods somewhere.


  11. Freakboy

    May god show him the way home


  12. Anonymous

    Are there any age progressive photos of what he may look like today?


  13. Cassie Bunch

    I think I have seen him


  14. Roo

    Did they find this guy yet?


  15. Anonymous

    Look up SOPHIE – Lemonade

    His name appears in the bottom corner during the video


  16. candy

    I have a friend on facebook. His name is James kimball. He is on disability for a mental disorder. Has kids now and a tattoo on his shoulder. He lives in maine


  17. nevermind

    I know where jim is 100% I am 100% shour it is him and he has told me that he is the missing guy and he left cuz he wanted to so stop looking for him he don’t want to come back home !!!


  18. Anonymous

    Is there any updates?


  19. doesnt matter

    Y’all need to look up jim kimball on FB ! This guy looks like jim and is an American punk rock drummer who started started playing in bands during the 90s ! This man also looks to be I’m his 40s


    • Miranda

      Yes I saw the same profile the guy plays many instruments and looks Just like Jim Kimball and talk about a deceased father only old pictures nothing recent of his father…


  20. NenaShadowslayer

    I don’t know where the tip thingy is, so I’ll comment. This is probably nothing. One of my friends in interlachen fl has the same last name, Kimball. I don’t think it means anything, but just in case. Ya never know.


  21. Anonymous

    I have help out a lot with America Most Wanted. And I also seen the same man not to long ago down in Covington, Ky living in the woods and been going to the free meals that are giving out to the homeless.


  22. David

    I have seen what was described as James Kimball, in Covington,Ky just a few weeks ago. He had his head down and trying to hide his face from anyone seeing him. I watched him walk right down 12th street heading to Newport, Ky then I had a few people I know that’s homeless say they seen a strange man walking around there area they was staying in the woods.


  23. Carmen

    Why didn’t that cop take him to the police station and ask him where he lives? Because if he did, James’ family would have picked him up from the station and got him home safe and sound and he wouldn’t remain missing, right now.


  24. Anonymous

    Lol I was jk but props to this guy that was me on the last message lol sorry


    • Eric

      If this was your brother or a family member that was missing and someone pulled the same mindless game would it still be funny to you??. If you can’t act like a responsible adult then perhaps you should stay off the internet.


  25. Anonymous

    Brother I’m fine but I need to rod this on my own I love you all


  26. Chris

    Any new updates on this case?


  27. Anonymous

  28. Tim

    I graduated Catholic grammar school with Jim and just finished a 9-day prayer/Novena yesterday asking for his return.


  29. Anonymous

    When was this man reported missing? I lived in Rockford Illinois there was a man that lived across the street from me that was mentally ill and spent time with us over Christmas named Jim We asked him about his family his family he said they did not live around there we lived on Rockton Avenue


  30. Nicole Durham

    Have there been ANY sights of Jim?


  31. Anonymous

    Make sure you post it in the “Tips” section!


  32. Anonymous