A writer disappears while writing a novel about another man’s disappearance.

Keith Reinhard

Missing:

Gender: Male
DOB: 9/5/39
Height: 6’2”
Weight: 210 lbs.
Eyes: Blue

CASE DETAILS

The tiny village of Silver Plume, Colorado–population 200–lies in the heart of the Rocky Mountains. On September 7, 1987, Tom Young closed up his bookshop on Main Street, and along with his dog, Gus, disappeared. Nine months later, a new resident of Silver Plume, Keith Reinhard, opened an antique shop at exactly the same location. On August 7, 1988, Keith closed up his shop for the day.  Less than two hours later, Keith Reinhard also disappeared. There were just too many coincidences.  Keith Reinhard and Tom Young both rented the same store. They both left town promising to return.  Strangest of all, Keith was writing a book about Tom’s disappearance, when he too suddenly vanished.

Hikers found the bones of Tom & his dog

Keith Reinhart moved to Silver Plume from Chicago with three goals: to get in shape by mountain climbing, to overcome his fear of heights, and to begin writing a novel.   During his sabbatical, Keith wanted to try running an antique shop geared toward summer tourists. If it was successful, he hoped he and his wife could relocate there permanently. Keith’s old friend, Ted Parker, ran a café in Silver Plume at the time of Keith’s disappearance:

“Keith Reinhard and I grew up across the street from one another. And we’d known each other about 40 years. I would say that our relationship was similar to that of brothers.  Keith was apprehensive and excited about turning 50. He was here to finish out the last of his 40s in the way that he dreamed of.”

Nine months earlier, Keith’s antique shop had been a bookstore. Tom Young, the man who mysteriously disappeared with his dog, had run the store for about a year. Tom had told people he was taking a vacation to Europe. Three weeks went by before anyone became suspicious about his absence. Keith Reinhard became obsessed by the unexplained disappearance and began talking to everyone in Silver Plume who had known Tom. Eventually, Keith decided to base his novel on Tom Young. When he began to write, he created a character named Guy Gypsum, a composite of himself and Tom. According to his daughter, Tiffany, sometimes it seemed hard for Keith to tell the difference between fact and fiction:

“Writers like to live the story they’re writing about, get a feel of it so it’s easier for them to write about it.  Maybe my father, it’s always possible, wanted to feel what it’s like to disappear so he could write about it.”

Tom Young

On July 31, 1988, ten months after Tom Young disappeared, two hunters found the remains of Tom and his dog in the mountains near Silver Plume.  Each had died from a bullet wound to the head. Dave Dauenhaur of the Clear Creek County Sheriff’s Department, was one of the first investigators to arrive on the scene:

“They were up there exploring some territory for the bow hunting season which was coming up and they found his remains. Also found at the scene was a revolver. In subsequent investigation, we found out that Tom had purchased a gun, approximately four days before he was last known to be in Silver Plume. The Tom Young case is closed and it has been ruled a suicide, both by the coroner’s office and by the Clear Creek County Sheriff’s Department.”

Keith was writing a novel about Tom

One week after Tom’s body was found, Keith walked through Silver Plume telling everyone he saw that he was going to climb to the top of nearby Pendleton Mountain. One of his stops was Ted Parker’s café:

“He was in the café and told me he was going to make it to the top of the mountain. If I don’t come back, call on the rescue and he said that in jest, I felt. I have this picture of him pointing to the mountain and saying goodbye. That was the last time I saw him.”

Keith was last seen walking toward Pendleton Mountain at 4:30 in the afternoon, far too late in the day to begin a difficult six-hour hike. That night, Keith Reinhard did not return..The next day, helicopters were called to search the mountain. On the ground, more than 125 men and a dozen trained dogs combed the difficult terrain for seven days.

Charley Shimanski headed the Alpine Rescue Team:

“The Reinhard search was like looking for the proverbial needle in a haystack. This haystack is 3,000 vertical feet of 60 degree slope. This was about as difficult a search terrain as we cover. We were at a real disadvantage because Keith went into the mountains wearing no more than blue jeans and a flannel shirt and tennis shoes. He had no backpack. He had no equipment. A typical subject of a search will leave lots of clues for us to trace.   Keith didn’t leave many clues. He didn’t have many with him to leave behind.”

Both men owned a shop at the same location

In thirty years of operation, the Colorado Alpine Rescue Teams had found every single person they searched for. However, they discovered no trace of Keith Reinhard. Some have concluded that Keith Reinhard and Tom Young were murdered, noting that both men rented the same space to run their shops. Perhaps, they both came across information someone didn’t want them to know.

Another theory is that Keith planned his own disappearance. However, Carolyn Reinhard disagreed with that theory:

“I don’t think that Keith would be the type of person to walk away from his whole entire life and leave it behind him.   He loved the people in his life.   He loved keeping in touch with them. And I don’t think he could’ve left them all behind him.”

Some of Keith Reinhard’s friends recall that he was fascinated by the idea of visiting West Virginia. Also, Keith attended a party the night before he disappeared. Witnesses say he spent a good deal of time talking to a woman named Greta or Gretchen, who is probably from Denver. Police would like to talk to her. They hope she can remember something he said that would yield a clue to his whereabouts, if indeed he is still alive.


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

SUBMIT A TIP

 

27 Comments

  1. A.H.

    Hi Unsolved Mysteries,

    I can’t find this story on Prime Video. Which season/episode has it?

    Reply

  2. Jason

    Well, in a TINY town, two people disappear (one is found) deceased, but they can’t match the bullet to the gun (for some reason). Then, the other guy moves into THE SAME BUILDING the deceased guy had his business in and starts writing a novel based on himself and the deceased. Then, one day at 4:30, he tells everyone in town he’s hiking up the mtn (afraid of heights) and if he doesn’t come back, call the rescue squad. He never comes back. They don’t interview the landlord (if there is one) and in that small of a town, no one knows ANYTHING. That’s weird. This whole story is weird, but it seems the guy wanted to disappear. Maybe he was “obsessed” like the segment says with Tom Young’s life to the point where he wanted to end up like him? Idk, I cant figure this one out.

    Reply

  3. Matt

    Entertaining tale years on and some of the comments are more entertaining blaming the landlord or pot growers. ha.

    Two guys in a small town both rent the same shop space and vanish mysteriously…

    Tom Young is running a bookstore struggling to pay the rent with a lack of customers and lonely with only his dog for company. Depressed and suicidal he buys a gun and heads out in to the woods. After having the strength to kill man’s best friend there really is no going back for Tom after that. RIP.

    Having a bit of a mid life crisis and having taken over Toms shop Keith gets a bit fascinated by the Tom story and becomes a little bit obsessed by it. Like Tom keith begins struggling to make ends meat trying to sell antiques to a town with no punters. Imagine there were days when no one walked in the doors if the population was 258 people..
    I think Keith was at a crossroads in his life and latched on to the Tom mystery and at first it gave him drive but after living the same life i think he made the same conclusion that there was no real mystery and tom killed himself. Keith decided to do the same thing but planned to never be found to keep the mystery alive

    Reply

  4. Anonymous

    With this newest tip, was it Keith afterall?

    Reply

  5. Anonymous

    Hi, my name is Sara, i live in Portugal, Lisbon and I´m a fan of your show. I love read this mysteries. It´s the first time that I send a comment, but I think that would help.
    Did the invetigators search the store? A

    Reply

  6. Scott

    Ok this is near a huge mountain range that tells me that the possibility of pot growers and they are a secluded group. It’s possible that both men were discovered by these “farmers” and were murdered. I’m not a nut or looking for attention I’m just into mysteries and I have heard about those kind of farmers and that looked like a heck of a lot of forest. But I honestly don’t know. Maybe Keith met a young woman who made him feel younger and went with her. Hopefully we will find out sometime

    Reply

    • Brett

      Haha I am one of the pot growers at the base of the mountain you are referring to. We are a kind group of farmers who aid in looking for missing persons and preserving the history and cleanliness of our town. I still keep my eyes out for clues everyday while waking my dog along the trails. We prefer privacy but are definitely no murderers. We work hard to help others, not hurt them. The mountain trails are steep and have loose rock, along with that and wild animals the possibility of dissapearing is very high. With rockslides and snow runoff the mountain landscape constantly changes making recovery after many years very unlikely. I’d say alien abduction is a little more likely than murderous vigilante weed farmers.

      Reply

      • Lindsey

        I would imagine that it’s easier to be a friendly pot farmer in 2017, with mass decriminalization across the country, than in 1987.

        Reply

    • J

      Keep on believing the pot theory …lol..you guys are pretty funny in your thinking but you would have had to know Tom Young for that…Tom was a funny nice man

      Reply

  7. Tom Me

    I would also like to hike up that mountain in hopes to see what was or is fascinating about this mountain.

    Reply

  8. Anonymous

    Is the book he was writing available to read any where?

    Reply

  9. John O.

    Keith would never have left his kids. He had an accident or heart attack and died.

    Reply

  10. Joyce

    Maybe Keith Reinhard is the true culprit. Have they compare the finger prints on items found at Tom Young crime scene with Mr. Reinhard’s finger prints inside the store he owned?

    Reply

  11. Justin

    I saw this mmysterious story on the show unsolved mysteries. This is my theory. So Tom Young and Keith Reinhard rented the same building. Maybe the owner of the builder was a pysco path and killed Tom and Kieth. They said the gun found next to Tom and his dog did not math the bullets used to kill them. So the killer either kidnapped or followed Tom into the forest and when he took out his gun Tom pulled out his gun for defense and the killer shot him and then his dog. The killer gets away without a trace. Then Keith Reinhard rents the building. He liked to write novels so he wrote his about Tom Young. Keith like to live out his novels. So he went to the mountain to where kieth spent his last moments. Kieth told alot of people he going to hike the mountain. Why he went up with no equipment and 4:30 pm? Thats a mystery. But the killer followed him up the mountain and killed him and buried him so nobody would find him. But why didn’t he bury Tom Young? Thats another mystery.

    Reply

  12. Anonymous

    I live in Oregon and I’ve seen a man that looks a lot like this Keith Reinhard but older. Around this neighborhood 15758 se highway 224
    Damascus, or 97089
    I hope this is him.

    Reply

  13. rayvann619

    I do know something about a bann of people that are a true definition for criminal…premeditated…smart…well organized…mythodical…tend to be religious or use the lord as their guide yet create blasphemy by judging yet dont see it t
    hat way for if they dont do things that are looked at as dishonorable or shameful in societies eyes its ok. So they target the people with no shame as a shield to take attention of of them and mind you using a well known or prosperous person makes it that much more of a shock so they gain time to move on…cover their tracks. They like new people or people unfamiliar for reasons…people after time notice a change and question…so new people are good unless its someone who has potential to gain knowledge of what the suspect is all about or their true identity. Small. Towns commonly are good for this reason u know right away what someones about. If your suspects gonna have to travel quick or change identity again…tends to give you a quick indactor…but remember most of them get exceptance through leading or commanding…so their army is doing their work…most of the time the army is a victim or hostage of your primary suspects. Keeping hidden on private property or secluded areas unless their in town showing off. Dont want people around unless permission first( because their hiding something or someone). But always trying to people please. They will target money…as well as passers bye so they arent noticed as missing and “lowlifes” no body will recognize as gone for sometime. Its a large operation…I lived through it once…this particular case seems to pin point some key facts…the mountains, hiking, animals or companions, and money. I say a group of sadists and slave drivers maybe working those mountains. Large operation. Need workers cant pay for them so theyre taking family and pets to gain money and help with out sending out red flags…when someone starts whispering around town or gets sneaky on them you have a murder on your hands. Large families are a good starting point with a military upbringing. So the bookstore owner and dog my guess got too much info…the antiques store he knew certain items and could catch someone up…probably found his own things killed someone he found out took them and had to leave real quick himself.

    Reply

  14. rayvann619

    So the way I see it is as people become something others get jealous these people are sociopaths that see themselves as capable of defeating death or. already died…possibly prophecies in their own eyes….trgic childhoods…masked by mental abuse and neglect…they want to protect the innocent….Now be careful that is a great background if your not narcaeistic. If you are you will find yourself in a pickle…a very quick snap if it’s manic bipolar disorder which causes quick anger when someone doesn’t get the right answer or response…ending in a tradgic moment most of the time. These people don’t always feel worthless but have been beaten down for not being good enough. So their targets are normally sex as their abuser and they go after their main focus to get their attention and lead others with them by misleading or talking behind their backs. They use money, many of them dont have to begin with, trying to people please and gain exceptance of big crowds. Many are unique and have good looks which thewaye to get in as well. They tend to talk about certain topics its all they know really ooposite their targets it keeps the speration or potential of them getting knowledge of their “secret life” they will find each other quicker that way…remember they are not capable of thinking for themselves so it works as a group. Easier to catch that way. BECAUSE IF YOU ARE DOING SOMETHING TO HARM SOME ONE YOU FEEL REJECTED AND IF YOU FEEL REJECTED YOU WANT ACCEPTANCE SO WHAT GOOD WOULD IT DO TO DO IT FOR NO REASON ESSENTIALLY. IF NOT ….ITS someone who has a purpose or cause and feel they need to pay for something…IN OTHER WORDS MONEY/REJECTION GO HAND IN HAND or LOVE/VENGENCE. CANT BE BOTH WONT INTERCHANGE. SO UNLESS SOMEONE HIRED A HITMAN …highly unlikely…wouldnt be repetition or similarities….just stone cold murder…that costs big bucks. Mainly peoples plays off each other cause an epidemic and eventually it gets so big the truth is all thats left!

    Reply

  15. Hiker

    Saw the plaque in memory of Keith set by his children with an end date of August 7, 1988. Doing the math, I take it this is the day he set out on his hike. Having looked up Pendleton Mountain, the plaque was not placed there, but above Silver Plume to the north/northwest. Interesting… maybe the spot where the plaque was placed was a favorite location to visit. Thanks for adding some interesting background to my discovery.

    Reply

  16. Madjack

    So Tom shot his dog and then himself in a suicide. Maybe he was upset over getting older.

    But then Keith foolishly tried to hike Pendleton mountain late in the day and without equipment or provisions and had an accident. And due to the terrain his body hasn’t been found.

    Apart from the store connection, this doesn’t really seem like a mystery?

    Reply