Unsolved Mysteries Wiki

James Russell

Real Name: James Michael Russell
Case: Lost Brother
Location: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Date: 1985


Details: Twenty-one-year-old Heidi Russell is looking for her eighteen-year-old younger brother, James Michael Russell. In 1985, their mother left their father, James Edward, and he struggled to make ends' meet. He and the children lived in a station wagon converted into a camper. After they learned of the living conditions, authorities went to Heidi's Tulsa, Oklahoma school and placed her in an Oklahoma City shelter. James Sr. took James Jr. to California to keep him from being taken away as well.
Days later, Heidi ran away from the shelter and moved in with friends. Soon afterwards, she began looking for her family. She located her mother in Texas. She tried getting information from relatives in California about James Jr., but no one knew where he or James Sr. was. She has been searching for him in vain ever since. James Jr. was last seen by a relative in 1989 on a street corner in San Bernardino, California.
Extra Notes:

Heidi and James reunited

Results: Solved. A viewer called the telecenter after recognizing James Jr.; her coworker is James Sr. Father and son are living in Rubidoux, California. Three days later, on March 7, 1992, Heidi and James Jr. spoke on the phone for the first time in seven years. One week after the broadcast, on March 12, James Jr. flew to Heidi's home in Amarillo, Texas; the two were reunited at Amarillo International Airport. He was also reunited with their mother. Heidi also made amends with James Sr. and was reunited with him as well. The family stayed together for several days before James Sr. and James Jr. returned to California.