Friday, April 29, 2016

What happened to Maurice "Red" Jefferson? Missing since 1983, Ft. Lauderdale, FL


Maurice "Red" Jefferson went missing from 
Ft. Lauderdale, Florida on November 30, 1983.
Left: Photo of Jefferson around 1983.
Right: Age Progressed image of Jefferson age 43. 
(Source: NCMEC)

He was also known as "Red" for the color of his hair.  

In a Sun-Sentinel article from March 25, 2009, Jefferson's grandmother describes the last time she saw him on the day he went missing.  Jefferson took, "a post-school nap, ate some popcorn, telephoned a friend and headed out the door for basketball practice."

After he left home, the details of his disappearance remain unclear. Sadly, because of the guidelines in the 1980s, it took 3 days for a missing persons investigation to begin.    
According to some sources, Jefferson made it to the basketball courts at Franklin ParkThere, two teenagers reported seeing Jefferson being forced into a car by one or two men.  This has never been confirmed.    

The FBI investigated the possible abduction.  In a Sun-Sentinel article from August 8, 1985, FBI agents concluded, at the time, that Jefferson had not been abducted as he was supposedly seen in the Franklin Park area hours after the teenage witnesses saw him being forced into the car.  

No one knows what truly happened to Jefferson on the day he disappeared.  There have been few clues and sightings.  Only questions remain.  

Jefferson's mother, Bettye Bridges, was quoted in the same 1985 article as saying:

"she believes the key to the mystery lies within the silence of neighborhood children.
'I think his friends know what happened,' she said. 'All of the kids at the park must have told their parents what they saw . . .'" 

It has been more than 30 years since Jefferson went missing.  What did the neighborhood children see that day?  Was he abducted, despite the early FBI findings?  Is he still alive?  

Important Identifying information at the time of his disappearance:
Name: Maurice Laron Jefferson
Born: August 8, 1967
Height: 5'11" 
Weight: 120 lbs.
Hair: Red
Eyes: Brown
Race: Black
Physical traits:  Very bowlegged.  Mole on his right ear and 2 warts on his right wrist. 

Maurice Jefferson would be 48 years-old today.  

If you have any information on this case, please contact:

Crime Stoppers:  (954) 493-TIPS (8477)
Submit a tip online: 
* You can remain anonymous *

National Center for Missing & Exploited Children:
1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678)

Broward County Sheriff's Office, Missing Persons: (954) 321-4735

Case Profiles:

NamUs MP# 6223

National Center for Missing & Exploited Children # 601778

Doe Network # 49DMFL

Sources of Information:
Charley Project, Maurice Laron Jefferson:

Sun-Sentinel article, "Fort Lauderdale boy's 1983 disappearance to be subject of documentary," by Mike Clary, March 25, 2009:

Archived articles from Sun-Sentinel (no available free links online):
Stein, Ellen. "Family Holds Hope for Teen's Return." Sun Sentinel [Fort Lauderdale] 08 Aug 1985: 1.B.

Kernicky, Kathleen. "Event Focuses Attention on Missing Kids Modern Systems Help Police Solve Abduction Cases." South Florida Sun-Sentinel [Fort Lauderdale, Fla] 22 May 2007: B.3.