James Michael Welter was a Staff Sergeant in the Air Force at Keesler Air Force Base when he disappeared while on leave in Ocean Springs, Mississippi on January 1, 1986. James Welter was in a minor traffic accident which after testing, resulted in him being arrested for Driving Under the Influence (DUI). James Welter was driving a blue in color 1978 Ford Granada with the Vehicle Identification Number VIN# 8W81F183435. At the time of his accident and subsequent arrest, he was with a woman who worked at Rooks Inn in Biloxi. Mississippi. James Welter posted bond and was issued a court date of January 15, 1986. James never appeared for his court date.
James Welter was scheduled to return to duty at Keesler on Janaury 6, 1986, but did not report as scheduled. His approved leave had ended and he was reported as Absent Without Leave (AWOL) by the U.S. Air Force on January 8, 1986. James Welter’s 1978 Ford Granada was later located, but being driven by a new owner who said that he bought the vehicle on a salvage bond from two unidentified individuals in March of 1986.
James Welter left behind his checkbook, savings book, passport and other personal belongings. There has been zero activity under James Welter’s Social Security Number (SSN) since January 1986. Although James Welter was declared legally dead in 2002, a private investigator hired by his family believes that James Welter may have assumed a new identity and possibly moved to Shreveport with a girlfriend.
According to a site which lists information about Mississippi Missing Persons:
James Welter had purchased a timeshare with Dixie Resort Corporation, Indian Point Resort, Gautier, MS 39553. The parent company, NACO Resort Club Inc. (No longer doing business) had no record of the salesperson who supposedly sold James Welter the timeshare nor do they have any record of James Welter. The salesperson that James Welter worked with is described as being a transient who travelled around selling resort memberships. Even after the James Welter went missing, the money for the timeshare continued to be automatically withdrawn from his account until it was paid off. Ironically, the resort where the timeshare was purchased was managed by a relative of the person who was found to be the new (latest) owner of James Welter’s 1978 Ford Granada which was purchased on a salvage bond from two unidentified individuals in March of 1986.
At one point, James Welter may have assumed the identity “Billy Cox”. During the investigation into his disappearance, his photo was shown and some had said that he was going by the name “Billy Cox” and was working for a construction company running heavy machinery.
James Welter was 34 years old at the time of his disappearance in 1986. James was 5 feet 5 to 5 feet 10 inches tall and weighed 155 to 165 pounds. James has brown hair and generally parted his hair to the right as shown in the photos below. He was known to wear a mustache and would have otherwise been shaven to military standards or possibly had a few days growth of facial hair since he was on leave. His eye color is brown. Although he was wearing civilian clothes at the time he went missing, it is possible that he had his Military Identification Card, Identification Tags (Dog Tags) or a Military Issued Web Belt.
If you have any information about the whereabouts of James Welter, contact the Air Force OSI at Keesler AFB, SA USAF Rachel Auerbach at 228-377-3420 reference case # 407-C-085-A-2856504254192 or Air Force OSI in Quantico, VA SA USAF Juan Duenas at 571-305-8019 (NamUs MP # 15624)
Charley Project: http://www.charleyproject.org/cases/w/welter_james.html
Mississippi Missing and UID: http://z13.invisionfree.com/Ms_Missing_and_UID/ar/t309.htm