Unsolved Mysteries Wiki

Charlie Ross

Real Name: Charles Brewster Ross
Nicknames: Charlie/Charley
Location: Germantown, Pennsylvania
Date: July 1, 1874


Occupation: Minor
Date of Birth: May 4, 1870
Height: Unrevealed
Weight: Unrevealed
Marital Status: Single
Characteristics: Caucasian male, light brown hair, brown eyes


Details: Charlie Ross was the first known abduction of a minor in the United States. He was lured from his home in Germantown, Pennsylvania by two men and held by two more who demanded $20,000 from his parents. The Rosses, however, never paid the ransom, and the local police dragged the case out for five long months trying to arrest the kidnappers. Later that year, two men were shot and killed while burglarizing a house in Brooklyn, New York. One died on the scene while the other confessed with his dying breath that his partner was the only man who knew where Charlie was. Over the years, several Charlie claimants would come forth trying to get his $469,000 trust fund left for him by his parents.
Extra Notes: This case is featured in the book "Lost And Never Found" by Anita Gustafson and was a segment on Mysteries At The Museum. His disappearance was the inspiration for the missing persons site "The Charley Project" was established.
Results: Solved. In 1939, a sixty-nine year old carpenter named Gustav Blair from Phoenix, Arizona was acknowledged by the state as the real Charlie Ross. In 1908, his adoptive father, Lincoln C. Miller, had confessed to keeping him for the kidnappers. Spending thousands of dollars to prove his identity in court, Blair returned to Pennsylvania to marry his wife again under his real name but never laid claim to his trust fund. He passed away in 1943 at the age of seventy-three.