A missing person case out of Ulster County has gone unsolved for over 30 years. What happened to Joseph Helt?

Thousands of people go missing every year and many of those cases unfortunately go unsolved. About 36 years ago a teenager from Ellenville went missing after a night out with his friends. As we approach the anniversary of the disappearance of Joseph Helt many people are still wondering what could have happened that January night.

Joseph Helt of Ellenville, NY Disappears Without a Trace

A search of The Charlie Project website, which dedicates its page to the over 15,000 missing person cold cases in the US, explains that on January 16th, 1987, Joseph Helt of Ellenville New York was last seen with 3 friends near Sam's Point.

Helt along with John LaForge, Wade Marks, and Kelly Diaz, who were all staying at Mount Cathalia Lodge, decided to go for a drive. Around 3:30 am, the Subaru they were driving in (which belonged to LaForge, that Helt was driving) became stuck in the snow.

The Charlie Project
The Charlie Project

After failing to push the car out of the snow successfully Joseph Helt left the location of the car and planned on walking 5 miles to the village for help. A short time later, according to The Charlie Project, the other passengers left too.

While the others returned safely to their homes, Joseph was never seen or heard from again.

Searching for Joseph Helt Around Sam's Point

The next day when his friends didn't hear from Joseph and he didn't show up for work later that night on January 17th, police began their search. As reported by Stand As One, State Police searched around 20 miles near Sam's Point with the help of police K9s and rescue teams.

Unfortunately, 6 days into the search a nasty winter storm blew through the region making roads impassable causing them to call off the search. Apparently, after the winter season teams went back out to search for Helt in the area but came up empty.

No New Leads in Joseph Helt's Missing Persons Case

Almost 36 years later there are still no new leads in Joseph Helt's case. The teen was last seen wearing a camouflage jacket, t-shirt, long-sleeved thermal shirt, a gray hooded sweatshirt, and white high-top sneakers.

If you have any information about Joseph's whereabouts or about what happened on January 16th, 1987 reach out to New York State Police's Ellenville Office at 845-626-2800.  An age progression photo of Joseph Helt was released back in 2019:

The Charlie Project
The Charlie Project

The Stand as One website explains that some of Helt's friends have put up missing persons flyers in the past. They go on to allege that the fliers were also torn down, they write:

Those supporting Joe’s cause have been putting up fliers around the Ellenville area, and those fliers have repeatedly been torn down, except for the two in sight of security cameras.

In 2019 a Lifetime Movie was released that was loosely based on the Joseph Helt case according to Bustle. Secrets in a Small Town follows the story of a mother and daughter who move to a new town and after a party with friends, the teenage daughter goes missing.

You can watch the trailer below:

We'll update this story if more information becomes available in the future.

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