Matthew Wade Crocker

The Disappearance of Matthew Wade Crocker

In 1983, Matthew’s mother met a woman named Kathy Johnson. She worked at a rodeo that had come to Fort Smith, Arkansas. Matthew’s family friend met her and introduced her to Matthew’s mother. Matthew’s mother needed help with child care because the baby’s father was in jail at the time, so she asked Johnson to stay in her Van Buren, Arkansas home for a week to watch her three children.

On the night of June 9, 1983, there was a party at Matthew’s house, and alcohol was served. When Matthew’s mother awoke the next morning, he and Johnson were both gone, as was the family car, a 1973 Chevrolet Vega. Three other children, including Matthew’s one-year-old sister, who shared a crib with him, were left at the trailer.

The next day, the stolen Chevrolet was discovered abandoned at a rest stop near Sallisaw, Oklahoma. Neither Matthew nor his kidnapper have been seen since.

Matthew Wade Crocker
Matthew Wade Crocker Age Progression Image

Johnson told Matthew’s mother she was 26 years old. She also stated that she had lost two children shortly after their birth; she stated that if her children had lived, they would have been nine and six years old by 1983. She may also go by the name Judy.

This case summary includes a composite sketch of the abductor. She is described as Caucasian, 5’4 and with blonde hair. She had a chipped or decayed front tooth, a shoulder blade scar six to seven inches long, and a puncture scar six to eight inches above her right knee. She had a green and yellow sunburst on the left side of her chest, a unicorn on her upper left arm, and the name “Kathy” with a ribbon above it on her upper right arm.

Matthew and his abductor may have travelled from Utah to California following Matthew’s kidnapping. Authorities believe the abductor took Matthew and raised him as her son. They believe he is still alive and unaware of his true identity.

Mathew Wade Crocker
Sketch of Abductor


  • Caucasian male. Brown hair, brown eyes. Matthew had pectus excavatum (a concave chest) at the time of his disappearance.
  • Associated Vehicle 1973 Chevrolet Vega

Investigating Agency

  • Van Buren Police Department 479-474-1234

Sources of Information

Source Information

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