Unsolved Mysteries Wiki

Jimmy Ray Legate

Real Name: James Ray Legate
Aliases: Jimmy Legate
Wanted For: Child Molestation, Abduction
Missing Since: September 19, 1996


Details: Forty-one-year-old Jimmy Ray Legate likes to pass himself off as a much younger age. According to police, he uses his "boyish good looks" to seduce younger women. In the summer of 1996, Legate was released from a Florida prison after serving seventeen months for molesting his own daughter. Shortly afterwards, he arrived in South Hadley, Massachusetts and befriended fourteen-year-old Karen Lofland. He convinced Karen's family to let him move in with them, claiming he was seventeen and needed a place to stay. When the Loflands discovered Legate had been carrying on a "relationship" with Karen, they kicked him out. A few days later on September 19, 1996, the two vanished.
Due to his prior convictions for lewd and lascivious conduct against minors, authorities fear for Karen's safety. He is currently wanted for probation violation, which prohibits unsupervised contact with children younger than 16. Other charges may be forthcoming.
Extra Notes: This case first aired as a Special Bulletin on the November 15, 1996 episode of Unsolved Mysteries along with Michael Wilburn.

Legate after his release

Results: Captured. On January 6, 1997, local police and FBI agents found Legate living with Karen in a Portland, Oregon apartment. He was arrested while she was placed in protective custody and later reunited with her family. He waived extradition and was returned to Massachusetts to face charges in her case. In December of 1998, Legate pleaded guilty to statutory rape and was sentenced to eight years in prison. After his release, he was arrested in 2011 for allegedly exposing himself at a homeless shelter. However, he was acquitted of the charges in 2012.