Insight into the First Steps of a Missing Person’s Case
Sounding the Alarm
As an investigative firm, it’s not unusual to get calls from people alarmed that their adult loved ones have not returned home at a prescribed time. We classify them into two categories.
The first is the intentional disappearance; i.e., the person is an adult, has purposely gone missing and does not wish to be found. The second category is when foul play is suspected, i.e., they did not leave of their own volition.
The Missing Person
John is a 55-year-old Caucasian male, stands 6 feet, 5 inches tall, bald with a salt-and-pepper beard and mustache, and blue eyes. He occasionally wears dark-rimmed reading glasses. His date of birth is June 14, 1963. He is an electrician by trade.
He drives a silver 2015 Toyota Tundra 4WD truck with a lift kit; California license plate 62517F2.
John was last at his home on January 4, 2019, around 5:00 p.m. He had dinner with his wife, Theresa Sturkie. After informing her he was meeting friends at the beach, he left in his truck. His wife confirmed he did not bring any type of overnight camping gear or any of his work tools.
John was last seen in El Cajon, California.
PGI Gets Involved
John Mark Sturkie’s disappearance was brought to PGI’s attention on January 29, 2019. After being retained by his family, it became our job to ascertain whether Mr. Sturkie had simply taken a few days of unplanned vacation from the pressures of everyday life or confirm what no one wants to consider, foul play.
Is John truly Missing?
According to various reports, John is an experienced outdoorsman, but does have a history of leaving for a few days at a time. Whenever he would get these urges to “bug out,” his normal routine was to call a family member and let them know his plans. On January 4th, the day he was last seen, John did not alert anyone that he planned to be away for a few days or even overnight.
John’s wife, Theresa, interviewed by Fox5 News on February 1st, added that it wasn’t until she woke on January 5th that she realized John had not come home. She reported her husband failed to return texts or calls during the rest of that weekend, which everyone agreed was out of character for him.
Theresa painted her husband as a family man who deeply loved his four children, and that they were respected parishioners of Saint Margaret’s Catholic Church in Oceanside. She remarked that John was also a Federation of North-American Explorer Leader within the parish.
John was known to be an active outdoorsman who loved to hunt, camp, ski, and surf. He was very involved in both his church and the Boy Scouts and had an upcoming trip he would not have missed.
It was also known that John had an electrical job in Orange County on January 7th and would have never willingly abandon his work responsibilities.
So if you were involved in working this case, were told the facts as related by friends and family members, now would be the time to decide whether or not to investigate. Realizing John was not a nefarious character but a beloved son, husband, and father missing for over a month, we knew it was time to get involved and start the investigation.
We know that John left his wife at their home in Oceanside after having dinner. After that, he was reportedly last seen at the house of an acquaintance, William (Will) Moehrle, -also an electrician- located in El Cajon, California.
It was reported that John’s silver Toyota Tundra was last seen parked in front of Will’s El Cajon house at 2:00 a.m. Saturday morning, January 5th.
The El Cajon police. using a License Plate Recognition (LPR) camera, pulled up a record showing the truck. Police cars are fitted with LPR cameras on the front of their vehicles and patrol officers routinely run video surveillance as they patrol the streets. The LPR captures license plates on still or moving vehicles.
The weekend of John’s disappearance he left his home in good spirits, took no overnight bag, no camping gear. He had recently started an electrical contracting project in Orange County, so it would have been odd for him to leave behind his tools needed to continue working.
We’ve learned that John has a history of substance abuse. We have suspicions about Will’s use of drugs and/or alcohol.
We were also made aware that another acquaintance, named Carl, was with Will and John on that Friday night at Will’s house in El Cajon.
Rob, a friend of John’s and his family, also a fellow electrician, told us he began actively searching for his missing friend. Familiar with John’s habits, Rob said that not hearing from John for short periods of time wasn’t that strange. Rob reported he was made aware of John’s disappearance after his friend had been missing for two weeks.
Use of a Geolocator
The Find My iPhone is an app and service provided by Apple that allows remote location tracking of iOS devices using GPS and geolocation position systems.
Friday evening, Theresa used the Find My iPhone mobile app, which located John’s phone at Will’s house in El Cajon. She repeatedly used the app during the weekend that John did not return home, and it continued to locate John’s phone at Will’s El Cajon residence on January 5th and up until January 6th.
The idea is that the app no longer worked after January 6th because most likely John’s cell phone battery had subsequently died, but this is not known for sure.
No word of John’s whereabouts has been reported. No activity has been reported on credit or debit cards or bank accounts.
What’s the Next Step?
PGI is working closely with the Oceanside Police Department and the El Cajon Police Department. We are in constant contact with John’s family and close friends. We will continue to follow up on leads, locate cameras that may have videotaped John in his silver Truck, and interview interested parties.
Updates will be added to this post. Follow along as we find more facts and evidence that will lead us to John.
Whom to Contact
If anyone has any information on John Sturkie’s whereabouts, please call the Oceanside Police Department at (760) 435-4911 – Case #19000398. You may speak with Detective Ryan Malone of the Oceanside Police Department, who is working this case.
You can also call the private investigative firm retained by the family, Premier Group International (PGI) at (949) 768-7612.
You can remain anonymous.
The Family Asks for Your Help
If you would like to help find John Mark Sturkie, a GoFundMe account has been established for the Sturkie family and the funds will go towards accumulated expenses, especially during this challenging time. All funds from the GoFundMe account will benefit John’s wife, Theresa, and their four children.
A separate GoFundMe account has been established in John’s name by other family members and friends, to help with their independent efforts to find John.
Theresa Sturkie Fox Channel 5 News – San Diego. PGI on site assisting with her plea for help in locating her husband, John: shttps://fox5sandiego.com/2019/02/01/wife-of-missing-oceanside-father-of-4-speaks-out/