Darwin Kenneth Vest
Missing since June 2, 1999 from Idaho Falls, Bonneville County, Idaho
Classification: Endangered Missing
Circumstances of Disappearance
Darwin Vest was last seen in Idaho Falls, Idaho, while walking in downtown, during the early morning hours of June 2, 1999.
Earlier that evening, Vest had walked from his home to a bar for a weekly trivia game with friends. Then he and another friend went to another bar. Vest eventually decided to walk home in the rain, declining a taxi ride. Walking at night has long been a Darwin Vest trademark. He was probably a little drunk and he didn't hold his liquor very well. His route may have taken him by the river where he often gathered data about spider habitat.
Vest is an internationally renowned entomologist, expert on hobo spiders and other poisonous spiders and snakes. The self-taught scientist and owner of Eagle Rock Research in Idaho Falls is known worldwide for his expertise about snake and spider venom. He has published articles in scientific journals, and testified about poisonous bites in court cases across the country.
Although Vest would sometimes take trips to search for snakes or spiders, he would never leave without letting his family know his whereabouts.
The family believes foul play was involved in his disappearance. Darwin Vest had been assaulted and robbed a few years earlier, and some suspected that his attackers had returned. But police checked all those leads, and didn't find anything suggestive of a crime.
Vest may have fallen into the rushing Snake River that cuts through town. A few hours after Vest's disappearance, a woman who lived several miles south of Idaho Falls called police to report she'd seen the body of a man floating on the river. A few years after Vest's disappearance, the family learned that a police officer had seen someone lying by the river bank that night, but assumed it was a transient.
Darwin was declared legally dead in March 2004.
Investigators Idaho Falls Police Department
If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
Idaho Falls Police Department
NCIC Number: M-218168134 Source Information: Return to the Unexplained Disappearances' Index
Please refer to this number when contacting any agency with information regarding this case.
Idaho State Police
The Casper Star Tribune
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