David Glenn Lewis was a 40-year-old man who went missing during the last weekend of January 1993. It was SuperBowl weekend, and David was looking forward to supporting his favourite team the Dallas Cowboys as they played against the Buffalo Bills. David’s wife Karen, and their daughter Lauren, decided to spend the weekend in Dallas together doing some shopping – leaving David alone in the house to watch the SuperBowl game.
On Sunday the 31st of January, Karen and Lauren returned home. When they arrived home, they found that the lights and TV had been left on and that the VCR had been recording the SuperBowl. David’s wedding ring was found on the kitchen counter, and the dryer was on. There were also two freshly made turkey sandwiches in the fridge. But David was nowhere to be found.
Karen thought that David had either gone to do some errands at work, or he had gone to watch the SuperBowl somewhere else. But when he had missed two appointments on Monday and had not made any contact with Karen, she filed a missing person report.
Police began to put together a timeframe of what David did over the weekend, to see if there were any clues as to where he might have gone.
On Thursday, 28th January, David left his workplace early, saying that he wasn’t feeling very well. He used his credit card to buy some gas, and then he taught his government night class at Amarillo College, with the class finishing at 10pm. This is the day that Karen and Lauren left to go to Dallas.
On Friday, one of David’s church friends saw him dashing through the Southwest Airlines terminal at Amarillo Airport. The friend said that David had no luggage with him.
Saturday the 30th of January is the last day there was a verified sighting of David, though it is not clear as to who saw him. $5000 was deposited into David and Karen’s joint bank account, and neighbours reported seeing his red Explorer parked outside of his house.
On the 31st of January, the day that David went missing, there are no reports or sightings of David. However, it is believed that David, or someone, was at the family’s home to start the VCR recording of the SuperBowl. The VCR didn’t have a time function, so the recording must have been set manually. Investigators have estimated that the recording was started at around 5:15pm that evening.
On February 2nd, David’s red Explorer was found in front of the Potter County Courts building in downtown Amarillo. His house keys and car keys were found underneath his floor mat, and his chequebook, credit cards and driver’s license were also found inside of his car which was normal for David.
Around the time that David went missing, police found that two plane tickets were purchased under the name of “David Lewis”. The first ticket was brought on the 31st of January and was from Amarillo to Dallas. The other ticket was purchased on the 1st of February, and was from LA to Dallas, with a stopover in Amarillo. In 1993, you didn’t need ID to buy a ticket or to fly, so police have no idea if it was actually David who brought these tickets.
David’s family were certain that he would not have left voluntarily as he was incredibly devoted to his family. Karen did say that when David worked as a judge, from 1986 to 1990, he received several death threats. He had also recently told her that his life was in danger, but he wouldn’t give her any more information than that.
David was due to fly to Dallas the next week to testify in a deposition for a $3-million conflict of interest lawsuit against his former law firm; Ham, Irwin, Graham & Cox that was started by a wealthy client. David’s lawyer in the lawsuit said that he doesn’t think the deposition would have been anything that would have brought any harm to him. However, Karen said that after David went missing, the files he had about the deposition went missing as well.
After 11 months of investigating, the Amarillo Special Crimes Unit declared that David had purchased the plane tickets, and since there was no evidence of foul play, they said that David went missing voluntarily.
There were two more sightings around the time David went missing, however, these are not confirmed to be David, though there is a high chance it could be. On the 1st of February, a Sheriff’s Deputy saw a man taking photos of a red Explorer outside of the Potter County Courts Building – which is the same place where David’s red Explorer was found.
Later on the same day, a taxi driver said that someone who resembled David’s appearance paid him in cash to drive him from a hotel to the Dallas/Fort Worth Airport. The taxi driver said that the man seemed very nervous, and was carrying around a stack of $100 bills.
11 years passed, and there was no new evidence or leads in David’s case. That is until Washington State Police Detective Patrick Dutter read an article from the Seattle Post, which documented a series of shortcomings in the way police handled adult missing person cases.
After reading this, Patrick then searched for all the John and Jane Doe’s in his area and started to come up with a list of possible victims as to who these John and Jane Doe’s could be.
One John Doe looked strikingly similar to a man who had gone missing from Amarillo, Texas, in 1993. It was David Glenn Lewis.
The one thing that John Doe was missing was glasses, as David wore distinctive glasses. Patrick dug around and was able to verify that John Doe was actually carrying his eyeglasses in his pocket when he was discovered.
Patrick then contacted the Amarillo Police Department and sent over a tissue sample and the victim’s shoes. The police then compared a DNA sample with DNA from David’s mother. The DNA tests were a match, and David had finally been found.
The circumstances in which David had died, though, seemed to complicate matters further. David had died in a hit and run on a two-way highway very close to Moxee, Washington and around 10 miles from Yakima Airport. He died at 10:24pm on February 1st, 1993. He had travelled close to 1,600 miles and had died just over 29 hours since he was thought to have put the SuperBowl on to record at his home.
According to witnesses, David was walking down the centre of the road in pitch black. One driver who was worried about the man’s safety turned around to warn others, but it was too late. He discovered David’s body on the side of the road. Reports of a Chevy Camaro leaving the scene were told by eyewitnesses, but the driver who killed David has never been found.
No drugs or alcohol was found in David’s system. What is even more strange is that David needed glasses to see, but witness reports say that he was not wearing them that night. They were found in a pocket. David was wearing a military uniform and work boots – clothing that David’s wife is adamant he did not own.
Once John Doe was confirmed to be David, his family were in total shock and confusion. They said that David had no known ties to the area where he was found. To add to this, to get to Yakima from Amarillo would have taken a 23-hour-long car trip or several hours by plane. There were no direct flights that day. So how did David get there in such a short amount of time?
A weird coincidence is that one of David’s childhood friends, Johnny Lee Baker, disappeared from his home on the 21st of June 1994. Johnny was a pharmacist and well known in the local community. Johnny has never been found.
There have been a few theories as to what happened to David, and why he was acting so out of character in the days leading up to his disappearance.
The first is that David’s life was actually in danger like he had mentioned to his wife. He could have thought that by leaving the area he would be protecting his family, and buying the different plane tickets would throw whoever was after him off his track. The tragic end to David’s life was just an accident, and not something that he had planned or wanted to happen.
But the biggest question to this theory, is that if David had been running from someone or something, why would he then walk in the middle of a highway, late at night, without his glasses on? Why would he intentionally put himself in dangers way if he had spent all that time trying to avoid danger?
The second theory is that David was struggling with some mental health issues. It could be that the danger David was in was only in his mind, and he was fleeing from something or someone that wasn’t a true threat to him or his family. One psychologist actually commented on an online post about David’s case, and said that it sounded very likely that David was struggling from a “dissociative fugue state.”
According to Verywell Mind, dissociative fugue state is a type of amnesia that can be reversed, where a person may become confused about their identity, personality and memories. It can last from hours to weeks, and many people who suffer from it tend to go travelling, which is unplanned and may even establish a new life in a new location.
Whilst this might explain why David was acting so bizarre in the days leading up to his disappearance, there are no records of David having suffered from any mental health issues in the past, nor are there any records of him suffering a traumatic event.
Part of David’s obituary reads as follows: “Your love and devotion have been missed so very much. You touched so many lives while you were here. How sad that many of your dreams were left unfulfilled. We know that God is using you for his almighty work.”
We will never know what was going through David’s head as he travelled across the country that weekend.
Unsolved, Mystery, Death, Homicide, Strange, Bizzare, True Crime