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OR JEREMY BRIGHT: Missing from Myrtle Point, OR - August 1986 - Age 14

Discussion in 'Missing 1980 to 1999' started by Kimster, Apr 14, 2015.

  1. Kimster

    Kimster Director Staff Member


    On August 14, 1986 Jeremy Bright, then, 14, went to the Coos County Fair in Oregon, and vanished off the face of the earth.

    Fast forward…

    Jeremy grew up in Myrtle Point, OR and that’s where his family and friends lived, but when his parents separated he and his sister moved a hundred miles away to Grants Pass, where his mother worked and attended school.

    Every Summer the Coos County Fair rolls into Myrtle Point, Oregon. For many, it’s a weeklong celebration. To 14-year-old Jeremy Bright and his 9-year-old sister S’te (pronounced “Ess-tee”), it was one of the highlights of each year and they rarely missed it. Because distance would have been a problem, their stepfather, Orville “Ole” Gulseth of Myrtle Point, had offered to take them in for a week that summer but he would need to get approval from his mother, Diane Beatty, now 55.

    Beatty said yes. Something she will regret for the next 25 years.

    “He was here for a week during the fair,” said Beatty during a 2009 interview at her Eastside home as she pored over photos of her missing son from a time when Pac-Man and Van Halen were all the rage. “He was only here for a week. If I would have said, ‘No,’ about him coming up to the fair, I would still have him.”

    “Instead of them veggin’ in Grants Pass for a week, while I worked and went to school, I thought that would be a great little trip for them,” “I have regretted it ever since.” said Beatty.

    It was a Thursday on August 16, 1986 and Jeremy decided to bring his best friend, Johnny, with him to the fair. The two would go off while his little sister walked around the fair with their step-father.

    Around 4:45pm., Jeremy made a long distance call to his mother to check in with her and to let her know that he was having a good time at the fair. She told Jeremy she’d be back in Myrtle Point in two days to pick him and his sister up.

    Five hours later at 9:40 PM, Jeremy showed up at a local tavern owned by his grandmother. There he met his stepfather and asked to borrow some money. It was the last time Jeremy was ever seen by his family.

    Two days later, Diane arrived in Myrtle Point as planned. She went to pick up Jeremy at his stepfather’s house, but her son never showed up:

    “I went in and on the TV set was his house keys from our Grants Pass apartment and his wallet and his new watch that he told me he’d bought. I knew when I found those things that he was around somewhere because he wouldn’t leave without them.”

    On Saturday night, Diane was worried enough to contact the police. At first, Sergeant Steve Dalton of the Coos County Sheriff’s Department believed Jeremy had simply run away:

    “He did like the fair. There was the thought that perhaps he was hiding out, intending to leave with the fair people and I’ve explored that possibility in every way that I can think of. However in this particular case, I’ve talked to family members and friends of him that knew him well. And he was just not, from what I can learn, the type of kid who would have struck out on his own.”

    On Sunday, August 17, 1986, the fair closed down. Myrtle Point was buzzing about Jeremy’s disappearance, and gradually, conflicting stories began to emerge. According to one rumor, Jeremy attended one of Myrtle Point’s many parties, and drank a beer laced with a powerful drug. Another story claimed that three older teenagers showed up at a local swimming hole and harassed Jeremy and his friends. According to Sergeant Dalton, this information came from a jailhouse informant:

    “They subsequently took him to a cabin, maybe within ten miles of the Myrtle Point area, and attempted to nurse him back to health… he died as a result of that injury, either from loss of blood or from infection or what have you. That same source… indicated that his body would found within 200 feet of this cabin in a shallow grave.”

    Police searched the area surrounding the cabin but found nothing. For Diane Bright, the rumors about her missing son were difficult to handle:

    “All of them are hard to think about. Every time I’d hear a new one, I have nightmares for a week or so. The one that I hope is not what happened is one where he suffered for two weeks before he died and they buried his body, because the thought of him suffering for two weeks just makes me sick.”

    Jeremy Bright has scars on his forehead and nose and a mole on his chin. The prime suspect in his disappearance recently died in prison, and there are no new leads. However the case is still open.

    Case Type: Non Family Abduction
    DOB: May 25, 1972 Sex: Male
    Missing Date: Aug 14, 1986 Race: White
    Age Now: 40 Height: 6’0″ (183 cm)
    Missing City: MYRTLE POINT Weight: 140 lbs (64 kg)
    Missing State : OR Hair Color: Brown
    Missing Country: United States Eye Color: Green

    Case #:
    NCIC #:
    NCMEC Case #:

    Anyone with any information regarding this cold case is urged to please contact:

    Coos County Sheriff’s Office Missing Persons Unit: 1-541-396-3121
    National Center for Missing and Exploited Children: 1-800-843-5678 (1-800-THE-LOST)

    You can also contact:

    A Toll-Free Hotline: (1-800-282-7155) which is maintained by the Clearinghouse to receive any information on missing children. Clearinghouse business number 503-934-0188

    Unsolved Mysteries (UM)
    Victims Heartland
    National Center for Missing & Exploited Children
    Oregon State Police


    Last edited by a moderator: May 21, 2015
    Akoya, GarAndMo49, Lily and 1 other person like this.
  2. Imamazed

    Imamazed Lead Administrator Staff Member

  3. TripleA

    TripleA Zoo Keeper

    Every time Jeremy's face pops up at the top of the home page I think that it is a photo of Graham Phillips from The Good Wife. Such a sweet face.

    It was so common in the 80s for kids to go to fairs/carnivals with friends. That poor mom beating herself up over that decision - it is not her fault.
    Akoya, spike, GarAndMo49 and 2 others like this.
  4. Kimster

    Kimster Director Staff Member

    I've often thought the same thing! I did a segment during my Cold Case of the Week days on Jeremy. His smile captivated me then and I want so much for him to be found!
    Akoya, spike, GarAndMo49 and 2 others like this.
  5. SheWhoMustNotBeNamed

    SheWhoMustNotBeNamed Administrator Staff Member

    Today, Jeremy has been gone for 29 years. We tend to remember many of the missing on the "anniversary" of their disappearance, like today. But Jeremy's mom really put it into perspective for me with something she posted:

    "But always know, my son, that you have been missed greatly every day of every year of every decade. We love you."


    Also a more recent age-progression:

    Paradise, Akoya, spike and 1 other person like this.
  6. Kimster

    Kimster Director Staff Member

    :praying: for Jeremy's mom!

    If ANYONE has a tip - big or small - please call it in so Jeremy's mom can know what happened!!!
    Akoya, spike and SheWhoMustNotBeNamed like this.
  7. SheWhoMustNotBeNamed

    SheWhoMustNotBeNamed Administrator Staff Member

    30 years. :(

    Akoya, spike and Kimster like this.
  8. Kimster

    Kimster Director Staff Member

    Saw this thread was bumped and FLEW in here!

    I want Jeremy found so much! :tears:
    Akoya, spike, Lily and 1 other person like this.
  9. Scorpio

    Scorpio Bronze Member

  10. Lily

    Lily Bronze Member

    I gotta wonder if there was a killer pedo working for the carnival. Ideal job for that type, sadly.. and a lot of kids have gone missing when the carnival's in town. :(
    Akoya and spike like this.
  11. Kimster

    Kimster Director Staff Member

    Wow! How did you find this! I wonder if any other rumors have sprung up over the years, solidifying any of the scenarios?
    Akoya, spike and Lily like this.
  12. Scorpio

    Scorpio Bronze Member

    I have a lot of UM episodes on my computer, I'll post some more cases which have been profiled on UM.
    Akoya, Kimster, spike and 2 others like this.
  13. SheWhoMustNotBeNamed

    SheWhoMustNotBeNamed Administrator Staff Member

    'You’re grieving - and it doesn't ever stop': Jeremy Bright missing in Oregon since 1986

    The whole family is over to watch the Seahawks at Diane Beatty’s Washington home.

    The TV is on.

    There’s chaos in the kitchen.

    And hanging in the corner of the living room is a memorial wall to commemorate someone who isn’t home this day.

    Diane's son Jeremy Bright went missing from the 1986 Coos County Fair in Myrtle Point when he was 14 years old.

    He’s never been found.

    “It’s tough, you know, because you’re grieving," Jeremy's sister S'te Emore says, "and it doesn’t ever stop."

    “The last they know of him, he met with his dad or his uncle and got some money at one of the taverns in Myrtle Point, and he was headed to the fair," Zanni says.

    Sheriff Zanni says one person of interest has been named in the case, Terry Lee Steinhoff.

    Steinhoff died in prison in 2007 from a drug overdose.

    “We tried multiple times to talk to him," Zanni says. "He was never forthcoming."

    Akoya, Kimster and spike like this.
  14. SheWhoMustNotBeNamed

    SheWhoMustNotBeNamed Administrator Staff Member

    Person of interest a dead end in search for Jeremy Bright

    Over the years, Zanni said information and tips have come to them in many different forms.

    “This was tips, rumors - over the years we have chased down more rumors, innuendos” he said.

    That led them to a "person of interest" - and a search of that man's property.

    Take another look at the Jeremy Bright disappearance #LiveOnKVAL Wednesday, November 16, at 5 p.m. and 11 p.m.

    Part One of this story aired Monday, November 14, at 5 p.m. and 11 p.m.

    Akoya, Kimster and spike like this.
  15. Kimster

    Kimster Director Staff Member

    We went by Myrtle Creek on the 18th of this month and I told my YDS about his disappearance.

    Akoya and spike like this.
  16. Kimster

    Kimster Director Staff Member

  17. SheWhoMustNotBeNamed

    SheWhoMustNotBeNamed Administrator Staff Member

    The cold case of Jeremy Bright

    When Jeremy Bright promised to meet his sister at the Ferris wheel, it was the last time she would ever see him.

    Bright was 14 years old in 1986 when he and his family visited Myrtle Point, a year after having moved to Grants Pass. They returned for the Coos County Fair and stayed with family.

    No one knew such a simple trip would become one of the state's most compelling unsolved mysteries.

    “You have to understand, at the time people didn't think that sort of thing could happen in small-town America,” said Coos County Sheriff Craig Zanni. “When his mother reported him missing that morning, the first problem came when the Myrtle Point Police Department said to her not to worry, it's the fair, he'll turn up. That was August 14 almost 30 years ago now.”

    “The whole thing was poorly handled. It got poo-pooed off and officers never wrote anything down, no one took information or recorded anything. There was a lot of confusion about names because some of the names written down were people with different first names or middle names, or mistakes were made and names were switched around. There were some names with first, second or third at the end, which can become rather confusing.”

    Zanni pointed out that officers at the time when Bright first went missing were either distracted, on top of not believing anything was wrong, or not really listening to any of the information being provided.

    “You can't help but take this personally,” he said. “Bright is probably dead, I have no doubt in my mind that he is, but you can't say that for certain because we haven't recovered his body. But his family suffers with never knowing. You know every time they walk through a crowd, they are looking at faces wondering if he is going to show up. In their mind, I know they know he is deceased but there is no closure without a body. You just don't know. For them, he's just gone.”

    MORE: http://theworldlink.com/news/local/...cle_1fee44c4-2ee9-5bea-aebf-2086c056b788.html
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  18. Kimster

    Kimster Director Staff Member

    People in rural Oregon still tend to have a false sense of security. We can't even get citizens to lock their doors.

    So sad.
    spike, SheWhoMustNotBeNamed and Akoya like this.

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