Cold case of Theodore man missing for 40 years being revisited

MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) – It was the afternoon of Aug. 13, 1982.

Jerry Gray, a civil engineer, was leaving his home on Hayfield Road in Theodore. Gray took off on his motorcycle after getting a phone call, never to be seen again.

Judy Clark, Gray’s last living relative and sister, tells us the story in detail.

“The phone rang and his roommate answered the phone. He said it was a male but he didn’t recognize the voice and he said it was for Jerry. Jerry got on the phone and said ‘okay, I’ll see you in a little bit’, and he got on his motorcycle, grabbed his helmet, got on his motorcycle and went down the road and he never came back,” Clark said.

Clark says right after Gray went missing, his house was broken into.

“My mom… she actually went out and started door knocking in the area that he lived in which alerted the people that my brother wasn’t there and that night somebody broke in and cleaned him out,” Clark added.

Mobile County detective J.T. Thornton says he is no stranger to stories like these.

Gray’s disappearance is just one of many. In fact, the wall behind Thornton’s desk is covered with faces of missing people… years of cases yet to be solved.

“It’s one of many. There’s a list behind me on the wall of missing persons and we just take them as we get them and work while we can until we exhaust all leads and then we solicit the help of the public,” Thornton stated.

The cold case team says they’re working hard to find a lead, and they are enlisting the help of the community.

“Any possible sightings of Mr. Gray… if they saw him somewhere, if they may know where he is located now,” Thornton added.

Clark says she’s thankful for the effort the cold case team has executed over the years.

“They really have, over the years, worked hard on this,” Clark said.

Thornton says a lack of technology when Gray disappeared in the 80s is likely a major reason why he hasn’t been found. Thornton says he hopes that revisiting the case now will be a success.

“Technology has advanced a lot since his time of disappearance,” Thornton declared.

Meanwhile, Clark longs for closure.

“I guess I would just be happy with knowing where he is- and if he’s deceased, knowing where his remains are, would be a big thing for me… so I could bring him home,” Clark expressed.

If you think you might know of Gray’s whereabouts, you can visit the link here for more information.

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