An Oregon teenager attends a county fair and never returns home.
Each August, the Coos County Fair rolls into Myrtle Point, Oregon. For many, it’s a weeklong celebration. To 14-year-old Jeremy Bright and his close friend, Johnny, it was one of the high points of the year. Normally, Jeremy lived a hundred miles away in Grants Pass, where his mother worked. But during the week of the fair, he and his younger sister stayed with their stepfather in Myrtle Point. On Thursday, Jeremy and Johnny enjoyed the festivities at the fair. Around 4:45 that same afternoon, Jeremy made a long distance call to his mother, Diane. He told her he was having a great time at the fair. She told Jeremy she’d be back in Myrtle Point in two days to pick him up. Five hours later at 9:40 PM, Jeremy showed up at a local tavern owned by his grandmother. There he met his stepfather and asked to borrow some money. It was the last time Jeremy was ever seen by his family. Two days later, Diane arrived in Myrtle Point as planned. She went to pick up Jeremy at his stepfather’s house, but her son never showed up:
On Saturday night, Diane was worried enough to contact the police. At first, Sergeant Steve Dalton of the Coos County Sheriff’s Department believed Jeremy had simply run away:
On Sunday, August 17, 1986, the fair closed down. Myrtle Point was buzzing about Jeremy’s disappearance, and gradually, conflicting stories began to emerge. According to one rumor, Jeremy attended one of Myrtle Point’s many parties, and drank a beer laced with a powerful drug. Another story claimed that three older teenagers showed up at a local swimming hole and harassed Jeremy and his friends. According to Sergeant Dalton, this information came from a jailhouse informant:
Police searched the area surrounding the cabin but found nothing. For Diane Bright, the rumors about her missing son were difficult to handle:
Jeremy Bright has scars on his forehead and nose and a mole on his chin. The prime suspect in his disappearance recently died in prison, and there are no new leads. However the case is still open.