MI PERRY OTTO CORLEW: Missing from Grayling, MI - 15 Mar 1974 - Age 18


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1259DMMI - Perry Otto Corlew


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Name: Perry Otto Corlew
Case Classification: Missing
Missing Since: March 15, 1974
Location Last Seen: Grayling, Crawford County, Michigan

Physical Description

Date of Birth: July 5, 1956
Age: 18 years old
Race: White
Gender: Male
Height: 6'2" - 6'4"
Weight: 155 - 165 lbs.
Hair Color: Brown
Eye Color: Green
Nickname/Alias: Unknown
Distinguishing Marks/Features: Light complexion and thin build. He smashed his left thumb in a car door when he was young. He wears glasses. His shoe size is 12 1/2.


Dentals: Not Available. Some fillings, nothing major.
Fingerprints: Not Available
DNA: Available

Clothing & Personal Items

Clothing: Unknown
Jewelry: Unknown
Additional Personal Items: Glasses

Circumstances of Disappearance

At approximately 8:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. on March 15, 1974, Corlew got into a fender-bender in front of Grayling's Rialto Theater in a car he had just purchased. Instead of waiting for police, he took off. This was the last time anyone saw him.

About 90 minutes later, a passing trucker alerted police that Corlew's car was sitting on the side of I-75 about 15 miles south of Grayling. The engine was still running, the headlights were on and the driver's side door was open. Corlew was nowhere to be seen. Police from Crawford and Roscommon counties called to the scene were baffled. There were no footprints in the snow and no witnesses to what happened. The family has speculated that Corlew fled the scene of the accident because he was on probation for a breaking and entering and had a poor driving record. A police report said Corlew may have gone to downstate Michigan or Florida. His friends said he had talked of going to California.

In 1978, his parents thought they had spotted Perry standing in an unemployment line on a national television newscast. With the help of WPBN-WTOM TV in Traverse City, they tracked down the report but could not verify the place where the footage was taken because it was shot by a free-lance photographer.

Local police and the FBI reopened the case in 1992 and a photo was generated of what Perry would look like at the age of 40. Also in 1992, his brother Michael received a telephone call from someone mimicking cartoon character voices, which Michael and Perry used to do. The caller asked Michael what he thought of the voices, but hung up without identifying himself.

When the Corlews tried to get a copy of Perry's dental record, they found that the Grayling Police had sent the originals of the records to a sheriff's department in Louisiana in connection with a case involving an unidentified suicide victim in 1975. The Louisiana Department, in turn, lost the records.

Investigating Agency(s)

Agency Name: Crawford County Sheriff Department
Agency Contact Person: Detective R. Meyers
Agency Phone Number: (989) 348-4616
Agency E-Mail: N/A
Agency Case Number: 200435-74

Agency Name: Grayling City Hall
Agency Contact Person: Chief Doug Baum
Agency Phone Number: :(989) 348-4621
Agency E-Mail: N/A
Agency Case Number: N/A

NCIC Case Number: Unknown
NamUs Case Number: 9147

Information Source(s)

The Traverse City Record-Eagle
Official Cold Case Investigations
9 & 10 News
Grayling City Hall

edited by staff to add media link

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