Unsolved: Timothy Lee Keays (1989)

32-year-old Timothy Lee Keays was last seen on the SOU campus in 1989. His mother is the one who reported him as missing. But to this day, there’s still no concrete answer as to what exactly happened.

Posted: Oct. 24, 2017 10:58 AM
Updated: Nov. 8, 2017 9:15 AM

TALENT, Ore. -- 32-year-old Timothy Lee Keays was last seen on the SOU campus in 1989 – which at the time was known as Southern Oregon State College. His mother is the one who reported him as missing. But to this day, there’s still no concrete answer as to what exactly happened.

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Timothy Keays lived in Talent with his mom while taking classes on campus. He was working toward a bachelor’s degree in Art & Art History in the fall of 1987. But during the summer of 1989, Keays disappeared.

“The last person that actually saw him, was a professor in a ceramics class… and that’s it," Sgt. Eric Fox of the Jackson County Sheriff's Office said. "He’s never been seen, never been contacted… that’s the last we knew of him.”

Looking into the case, it was pointed out that Keays had some associates that were involved in the crime and drug business. This ultimately led investigators to look into those relationships and see if anything came up.

“What his actual part was, I don’t know," Fox said. "But a lot of the follow up that was done on that case back then had to do with people that were associated with the drug business.”

Investigators followed up numerous tips and rumors – including information in 1993, saying keays may have been the victim of foul play.

Eventually, the Jackson County Sheriff's Department searched ponds near Interstate 5, around Talent, but nothing came up there, either.

"You still have to look at them… because the smallest of clues may be the actual truth,” Fox said.

The mid-2000's was the last time investigators say they got any significant leads about Keays’ disappearance. But there's still no major progress on closing this case.

"We don’t really know about Timothy Keays... when somebody goes missing and they don’t contact their family members, we assume something bad happened… but that’s not always the case."

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