A writer disappears while writing a novel about another man’s disappearance.
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.
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:
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:
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:
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:
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:
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:
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
Looking forward to the new documentary Dark Side of the Mountain which may shed some light on what happened. In the process of filming they claim to have found Keith’s wallet on Pendleton Mountain but not a body.
I am personally of the belief that Keith’s death was also a suicide and I believe the thing that connects the two is carbon monoxide poisoning. Back in the 80s no one knew that it was associated with causing suicidal behavior, but a study published in 2021 associated with CO buildup in the cabin of Ford Expeditions and Explorers showed that cops driving those cars had a shockingly high rate of suicide if their cabins had CO building up leaking into the ventilation system from the engine.
I believe the two men, both leasing the same space and spending a lot of their time there during the day without realizing it were under the influence of CO poisoning. No one had CO detectors in homes and businesses back then and it was a big problem. While acute toxicity leads to apoxia and death, subtle CO poisoning causes brain dysfunction similar to people suffering from TBIs.
Perhaps the researchers could find out what kind of heating/boiler system their office used back in 1987 to rule in or out this possibility?
This seems like the most plausible explanation. I remember seeing another Unsolved Mystery episode where a man had been acting strange for a few weeks. And had a huge unreasonable fight with his employer. He decided to go visit his parents. He disappeared while en route to his parent’s house several miles away and police found his car on the side of the highway. His car still had the keys inside and the door was ajar. His parents retrieved the car and drove the long drive back to their house. They noticed a strange smell during the drive. They took it to a mechanic to get it checked out. The mechanic told them the exhaust was faulty and leaking inside the car. A few years later, his remains were found only 5 miles from where his car was found. He apparently died from exposure. I think rhe exhaust definitely had an effect on his brain.
It’s also possible Keith wanted to find where Tom’s body was found, out of morbid curiosity. Although, I think Tom was found on a different mountain nearby.
This is a very logical explanation. There was prob. some connection back to the shop. I bet there are HVAC records that can be tracked down being it’s a small town and there were prolly limited companies that would service that area.
The problem with this is the coincidence between them renting the same shop and Reinhard writing a book about Young seems so strong. But if you look at what actually happened you are left with is a man who in all likelihood committed suicide and a fairly eccentric man who vanished while either climbing a mountain at the wrong time of day, or leaving town after saying that is what he was going to do. It isn’t unexpected that Reinhard wasn’t found given the terrain. The reason Young couldn’t be confirmed as a suicide is that the gun had corroded too badly to enable a comparison with the bullet. If the bullet was fired from another gun it seems odd that the killer would leave Young’s gun as they would have no guarantee that it would corrode by the time the body was found. And even if Young’s death was due to murder or manslaughter, it doesn’t logically follow that Reinhard going missing was due to murder. If it was then it would appear to be a murder where he was presumably invited to a remote location and went willingly, knowing that someone he was researching had just been found dead in a remote location, and telling everyone that he was going to climb a mountain. Since Reinhard had only just learned of the discovery of Young’s body it seems most likely that he went to view the location, told people he was going to climb the mountain to avoid appearing distasteful/morbid, and met with an accident which, ironically, resulted in his death.
I met Kieth, in the early 80’s. He was a reporter for the local paper, the Daily Herald. He started a short lived tradition called the Turkey Bowl. It was a bunch of former high school athletes, attempting to play a touch football game by a ragtag group of out of shape,for the most part, overweight, long ago graduates. I played with the Forest
view high school team. It was extremely fun and a great idea to get old friends back together. I don’t know how many times Kieth held it, but he was a very nice, clever guy. He also had an extremely interesting house in Algonquin, Ill. We called it the silo house because it was built around and incorporated an actual silo from an old farm. The top floor was an obsevatory.
Very sad ending for a very interesting guy
Hi. Could you get in touch with me? I’m a french writer and I’m writing a novel about the case of Keith Reinhard, and I’d like you to reminisce about some of your memories with KR. Thanks a lot. You can write at : email@example.com
Why didn’t anyone try to stop him from climbing a mountain at 4:30 in the afternoon?
Send a team of paranormal investigators to examine the idea that the place is haunted and drove them to madness.
Stranger things have happened.
We’re watching Lost In The Wild which is detailing the disappearance of these two men.
Condolences to both families in this very sad situation.
We hope one day that this is solved.
Thanks for mentioning the Lost in the Wild episode– it was easy to find on Amazon. I came away from that show with a pretty strong sense that Tom Young, at least, was murdered. Keith’s disappearance is still a mystery. I do think his disappearance is definitely connected to his fascination with Tom Young. Whether that fascination lead him to make a foolish end-of-the-day ascent up a mountain resulting in his accidental death, or that fascination put him in possession of “too much information” about Tom’s death and therefore put him in danger I can only guess.
George David Lloyd
On their Silverton, Colorado case Has anyone considered a supernatural situation? Paranormal Activity possibly demonic It is not normal for the same location and two disappearances one dead and one possible. Wondering has anything else occurred since has anyone occupied the space. Have they experienced any Supernatural activity in the home? Or in the workspace Is there anyone investigating at all?
I’m 99% sure he went up there to commit suicide……why else would he leave that late with nothing but the clothes on his back…..because he knew he wasn’t coming back. Btw his daughter was smokin hot
Bro. His daughter was indeed hot AF
Keith Reinhard left 4:30pm and if it’s 6 hour hike so he would of made it up the top by 9pm and night pitch black were u can’t see been 30 years he will be dead by now Pendleton mountain holds the key I reckon some one killed him and hidden him well so the evidence can’t be looked at that day he was climbing he would of died looking at that mountain could be anywhere
I shall Keith at the mountain no joke
Hi Unsolved Mysteries,
I can’t find this story on Prime Video. Which season/episode has it?
Unsolved Mysteries Post author
You can find this case in S2:E15 with Robert Stack and S6:E20 with Dennis Farina.
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.
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
What is ends meat and why was he making it?
With this newest tip, was it Keith afterall?
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
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
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.
I would imagine that it’s easier to be a friendly pot farmer in 2017, with mass decriminalization across the country, than in 1987.
Actually not. That was one of the myths to help push decriminalization. There is still crime and violence associated with pot. Not that I think they were killed by pot growers, just pointing that out.
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
I would also like to hike up that mountain in hopes to see what was or is fascinating about this mountain.
Dude, are YOU trying to make it on this show???
Is the book he was writing available to read any where?
Keith would never have left his kids. He had an accident or heart attack and died.
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?
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.
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.
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You do realize he was 51 in 1987-88. Your comment was made in 2015. He would be close to 80 yrs old the time you saw him. That and A LOT of people in Damascus, OR look like this man (I live near the same area in OR). Im not saying you’re wrong, Im saying it’s a long shot that you’re right.
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.
this is the second crazy comment you’ve posted. you’re insane
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!
WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?
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.
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?