Justin Lee Richardson was last seen in Kaibab National Forest near the town of Tusayan on June 29, 2001. He and three of his friends (who were between the ages of 18 and 21) went into the forest on the morning of June 29th, according to authorities, to use drugs, possibly Methamphetamine. There was evidence that Justin had been under the influence of drugs and alcohol a year prior to his disappearance.
While the four friends were in the forest, Justin and one of the men got separated from the other two. After returning to Tusayan to get help in finding the two men they were separated from, Richardson himself became lost.
Justin was reported missing on July 1, 2001 by his father.
Justin had run away once before; search parties were deployed surveying 64 miles of the forest on horseback and helicopter; no body or evidence of human remains were detected or recovered.
To date, a few theories continue to be held:
- Richardson’s body remains inside Kaibab National Forest, most likely buried;
- Richardson relocated to be with his then-girlfriend, and has not contacted friends or family since.