Is a Columbian cartel responsible for Lee Young’s disappearance?

An middle aged caucasian man, Lee Young, wearing a white collared shirt with short grey hair.

Lee Young


Gender: Male
DOB: 11/22/33
Height: 6’1”
Weight: 206 lbs.
Eyes: Brown
Hair: Gray
Remarks: Also looking for Lee Young’s copper-faced Rolex watch with diamonds encircling the face and on the band


Lee Young posing with his wife, Connie, a caucasian middle aged woman with short brown hair.

Lee and Connie Young

On May 5th, 1990, a deputy sheriff came across of a burning car in the desert 100 miles south of Phoenix, Arizona. Det. Scott Reed, of the Scottsdale, Ariz. Police Dept. was assigned to the case:

“The car was burnt to the ground. And the fact is, that had there been any evidence in the car, such as blood, we weren’t able to tell because of the burning.”

The car belonged to 56-year-old bank-executive Lee Young. Lee’s job was to investigate a possible fraud case against his bank in Scottsdale.

A dark sedan driving down a street.

Mysterious calls were made from Lee’s car

If Lee had been murdered and his body dumped in the desert, there was one obvious motive; Lee always wore a very distinctive and very expensive Rolex watch, and always carried large amounts of cash to buy jewelry, which he sold in his spare time.

When police opened the trunk to Lee’s burned-out car, they found jewelry worth thousands of dollars. His Rolex had been taken, but why was the rest of the jewelry left behind? Lee’s wife, Connie Young:

“The only thing missing out of the trunk of that car, that I am aware, is the briefcase that carried his files. So that makes me believe that robbery wasn’t the motive. It was case-related.”

A deputies car is parked closed to a dark sedan on fire, black smoke is billowing from the car.

A deputy sheriff found Lee’s car on fire

The robbery theory seemed less likely, but another motive took its place. Lee had recently contacted Federal drug agents because he suspected that his bank was being used by a money-laundering ring. Lee had focused his investigation on a major drug cartel in Columbia. The case was still ongoing at the time of his disappearance.

Police pieced together Lee’s movements before he disappeared. He left a restaurant in Scottsdale around 12:30 p.m. and was never seen again. However, Lee or someone else used his car phone later that afternoon.

A single call came in over Young’s car phone and three calls were dialed out. One went to a phone booth, the others to a woman who denied ever talking to Lee on the telephone. Det. Scott Reed, Scottsdale, Ariz. Police Dept:

“I don’t know for a fact that Lee made these calls. In fact, it’s possible that Lee was taken down prior to two o’clock Friday afternoon and that the three calls made after two o’clock were made by somebody else.”

A hand with a ring on the pinky and a gold watch holding a red railing.

Lee always wore his Rolex

Critical information is still missing in this case: Who made the phone calls? Who burned the car? Did Lee Young die in a robbery gone wrong? Or did his investigation into a money laundering operation for a drug cartel get him killed?

Connie Young hopes that someone saw her husband’s plum-colored Lincoln Town Car between the time he left the restaurant on May 4, 1990, and the time the car was found in flames the next day. She also hopes someone might have seen his copper-faced Rolex watch. It has diamonds encircling the face and on the band.

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

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  1. Juan Pablo Ramirez

    I think I might be his son…


  2. Anonymous

    I worked with Lee and 2 other Fraud Investigators at the bank. I found out he was missing by watching an episode on Unsolved Mysteries. I tried to call his wife but the phone was busy. I had moved out of state when this occurred. I still think of him to this day as Lee was a great person with a great personality. I hope someday this is solved.


  3. Johhny Bravo

    Where I can watch this episode of UM?


    • Rachel

      You can watch reruns on Sling. They have a channel that just plays Unsolved Mystery’s. Also if you have Roku, the Roku has a live channel which also carries 24/7 unsolved mysteries. I just watched th episode you were looking for . Season 4 episode 16. Hope that helps.


  4. Deanna T

    I was friends with Lee’s daughter at the time this show was recorded. I remember calling to say hi and she said the TV crew was there to record the show. I never forgot you B and wondered all these years if your father was ever found. God Bless you and your family.


  5. KJ

    My husband mistakenly got involved with the mafia in the 1970’s. Ones of these men lived I. Scottsdale Az. The man from Scottsdale had my husbands accountant taken for a ride in the backwoods of Michigan and intimidated him enough to scare the heck out of him. The Scottsdale mans brother was in a scheme in Lancing Illinois with a bank president. We had found files where the original owners of the company that my husband had bought were selling mobile homes for cash then getting loans for them from this bank.My husband turned the evidence over to the state and shortly after my husbands office was broken into and all files where stolen. It would not surprise me if the same man did the same thing n Az


  6. Anonymous

    I will tell you this. A former friend of mine knew of this man from one of his jobs. My friend played music at various venues around town. He has played his whole life. He would have been 28 or so at the time of this man’s disappearance. He actually told me on more than one occasion, and even with confirmation from his wife over the years, that he had asked someone at the place he knew this man from about his disappearance. The person he asked had been seen with Lee Young a few times at this social venue. My friend had had friendly conversations with both of them. Being a 28 year old local musician trying to earn a living meant socializing and networking with all ages. My friend plays a lot of big band type of music anyhow. Well this guy he asked told him in the most stern voice “I do not know and do not ever ask me again!”. I guess my friend immediately felt sick to his stomach and could just tell something about this reaction was wrong. He had felt after all these years that the man who had been seen with him at this social venue probably knew or was involved in his disappearance. He also had the feeling that Lee Young wasn’t exactly a straight and narrow fellow. It’s quite likely that he was dealing with shady people and began to panic or thought he could get back at them. Nevertheless, I’ll never forget my friend telling this story to me and how crazy it was. He was truly uncomfortable working there after that but always had contacts so I assume he was stuck for a while. Weird world.


  7. Anonymous

    I some reason I just I thought about the disappearance of Lee Young and looked it up in curiosity I had no Idea there that there was actually a disappearance of the poor guy and what came to mind was a lady. Well that was weird


  8. Anonymous

    I think he was involved in the money laundry of the money. He ran away to south America and has since passed. He will never be found because he was buried in Mexico under his assumed new identity. The only people that know the whole story will never talk. They are all in south America.


  9. Anonymous

    It is highly unlikely that Lee was working on any case that would have taken him in contact with any of the suspects on any bank fraud cases he was working on. I know this because I worked with Lee at the time he went missing.


  10. Anonymous

    This the most unfortunate case. This first thing is he was investigating a money laundering scheme with the bank also contacted to the Columbian drug cartel. the second thing is the burnt car which leaves out a robbery cause the jewelry was in the trunk.. Third when you get involved in money matters with shady ties it leaves room for bad mojo. It does look good in this case. Whoever wanted him out of the picture then take care lengths to do so… Which explains the the missing brief case with the files. Feel bad for his wife; she may never get the answers she is looking for.


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