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Missing Charles Southern Jr.
Southern, circa 1987
Missing Since 12/01/1987
Classification Endangered Missing
Date of Birth Used 07/25/1948 (72)
Age 39 years old
Height and Weight 6'2, 180 pounds
Medical Conditions Southern was hospitalized for emotional problems prior to his 1987 disappearance.
Distinguishing Characteristics African-American male. Black hair, brown eyes. Southern may have a full beard.
Southern planned to travel to India for two weeks in December 1987 during his college's winter break. His mother said that she was concerned about him during this time and offered to visit with him prior to his scheduled departure. He declined and told his mother he was simply not feeling well. He has never been heard from again.
His family checked his residence after Southern's scheduled arrival time home passed without a word from him. They discovered that his passport was inside his house and no entry stamps from India were recorded.
A vial of a drug similar to the poison curare was found inside one of Southern's drawers. His winter dress hat and coat were folded inside-out and placed on a ceremonial stool; Southern's family later learned that this was a Nigerian tribal symbol for death.
His relatives also located two poorly-written notes which appeared to be Southern's wills. There was no sign of him inside the residence.
Hoffman told Southern's family she was not involved in his disappearance. She has never been charged in connection with Southern's case. Almost a dozen of Hoffman's associates have died untimely deaths through the years, many by suicide. Hoffman was named as beneficiary in several of the cases and collected thousands of dollars in cash, property and other assets. One family filed a wrongful death suit against her.
Authorities do not know if Southern chose to leave of his own accord or if other forces were at work. It is possible that he suffered another emotional breakdown that served as the catalyst to his disappearance, but nothing is certain. His case remains unsolved.
Investigating Agency / Department