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After 48 years, woman still has hope missing brother will be found

By Alex Cabrero | Posted - May 9th, 2013 @ 6:35pm


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SALT LAKE CITY — Scrapbooks and photo albums are always full of smiles.

Suzanne Tate made one of her little brother Reed Jeppson, which makes her smile every time she looks at it.

"He had just made his first touchdown," Tate said, flipping through the old pages. "He had made the East High School sophomore football team."

There are other pictures, of course, like the one of his big baby smile; a close-up of Reed in one of his favorite cowboy outfits. And another one shows him as a teenager with braces, but still with that amazing smile.

"He was a good-looking guy," she said.

The pictures of Reed stop when he's a teenager. He disappeared when he was 15 years old, more than 48 years ago.


"We have no idea what happened, but we're certain he met with foul play. Reed did not leave on his own volition. We know something happened."

"Reed just went out to feed his dogs and vanished," Tate said.

She remembers that day like it was this morning.

"Reed changed his clothes, came into the kitchen and was opening up some dog food, and I said, 'Where are you going?' He said, 'I'm just going to go out and feed the dogs.' I said, 'Well, hurry back because we're going to have dinner in a half hour.' He said, 'I'll be right back,' and we never saw him again," she said.

That was in 1964.

Salt Lake City police detectives opened an investigation, but never found anything and the case was closed in 1966.

In 2010, Salt Lake City police announced they were re-opening his case as part of the cold case unit's effort to locate missing people.

Still, though, nothing.

Every month, the 10 surviving Jeppson family members have a family dinner. They talk about Reed at every one of them, and say he is still as much a part of their family now as he was back then.

"We have no idea what happened," Tate said. "But we're certain he met with foul play. Reed did not leave on his own volition. We know something happened."

A police report of the case from 1964 states that Reed "did not leave any information about the possibility of leaving. He has not had a disagreement of any kind with his parents or with any of his brothers or sisters. He had never pulled such a stunt before and is known to be very dependable."

"He had a paper route to help pay for dog food for his two dogs, and that money was left behind, as well as all of his personal belongings," Tate said.

Now, after seeing the three missing girls in Cleveland who were found and reunited with their families after 10 years, Tate says it gives her a little more hope.

"We refuse to give up hope," Tate said. "And we have hope that someone, somewhere, will tell us what happened, tell us where he is, and we can bring him home."

All it takes is one tip.

If you have any information on this case, you can call the Salt Lake City Police Department at 801-799-3000 and reference "Reed Jeppson" or case #64-46859.

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