Real Name: Rogest Cain
Nicknames: No known nicknames
Location: Los Angeles, California
Date: February 18, 1986
Occupation: Parks and Recreation Department Worker
Date Of Birth: October 12, 1924
Weight: 165 Ibs
Marital Status: Widowed
Characteristics: African-American male. Black hair, brown eyes.
Details: Rogest Cain had always hoped to create a better life for his seven children. In 1958, he moved from Mississippi to Los Angeles, California, and was able to give his children advantages that he never had. His children stated that he was always a loving, caring father to them. By 1986, Rogest was sixty-two and worked for the Department of Parks and Recreation. However, on the afternoon of February 18, 1986, he left his home, telling his sister that he was going to a hardware store; he never returned.
Since his disappearance, several clues have surfaced to suggest that he is still alive. On February 19, he called a neighbor and told her that he was not feeling well and could not go to work. When he did not come home, his family called the police. They also contacted hospitals and other relatives. Two days later, a private security company in an affluent neighborhood spotted a man who they believed to be Rogest. The man appeared confused and gave the officers a phone number that belonged to his sister, Teresa. However, when Teresa came to pick up her brother, he again disappeared.
One month later, Rogest's car was found parked on a busy street 22 miles from his home. All of his papers, his G.I. bill, the deed to his property, his insurance policies, his glasses, and his false teeth were all in his car. There were also pieces of paper that had his daughter's phone number written several times; his family believes that he was trying to remember her number. At the gas station next to his abandoned car, authorities learned that Rogest had talked to a mechanic on the day after he disappeared. The mechanic said that he repaired parts of Rogest's car and Rogest paid him in cash. The mechanic said that Rogest was slurring his speech and walking oddly. He last saw Rogest walking down the street away from the gas station.
Authorities and Rogest's family believe that he may have suffered a stroke and is suffering from memory loss. Authorities discovered that Rogest's telephone credit card had been used several times since he was seen by the security company. The calls made on Rogest's card were traced; all of them were numbers from "Help Wanted" ads in a local newspaper. It is believed that when he became lost, Rogest had the need to find work so that he could get money. Although he was memory impaired, he still realized that he needed money and knew he had to call places to find work. Authorities and his family believe that he was picked up by law enforcement or a paramedic and transported to a hospital for medical treatment as a "John Doe". They hope that he is still being taken care of somewhere. However, no evidence has been found to suggest if he is still alive, two years later.
Suspects: Foul play was not suspected in his disappearance.
Extra Notes: This segment originally ran on the November 30, 1988 episode.
Rogest is the father of former NFL player Lynn Cain, who was interviewed for the segment. He is also the grandfather of rapper will.i.am.
Results: Unresolved. When the story first aired, several viewers called claiming that a man living in their Topeka, Kansas neighborhood named Elmer Jackson might have been Rogest. The viewers noted that Jackson did not have any dentures and had a scar on his body that matched Rogest's. Unfortunately, he disappeared before police could question him. Within days, Rogest's son Lynn flew to Topeka to aid police in the search. They have since learned that he lived in Topeka for about a year after a truck driver brought him there. He had apparently worked several jobs, including as a brick layer. Lynn and the police canvassed the neighborhood where Rogest apparently lived, but they were unsuccessful. Rogest was declared legally dead in 1995. Sadly, he has never been found.
Rogest's siblings Theresa, Marguerite, Clarence, Curtis, and Rowland have since passed away. In Rowland's obituary, Rogest was listed as having pre-deceased him.
- Rogest Cain on Unsolved.com
- Rogest Cain on The Charley Project
- Rogest Cain on The Doe Network
- Rogest Cain on California Missing Persons
- Rogest Cain at Find a Grave
- Rogest's brother Roland's Obituary