Unsolved Mysteries Wiki

Travis Wade Duncan

Real Name: Travis Wade Duncan
Aliases: None known
Wanted For: Theft, Assault, Escape
Missing Since: August 19, 1992


Details: In April of 1992, nineteen-year-old Travis Wade Duncan started his job as an apprentice auto repairman in Seminole, Oklahoma. He seemed to be an ideal employee until June when he was arrested for stealing guns from his employer. He claimed that he had bought the guns and had no idea that they were stolen from his boss. His bail was set at $25,000; however, his family was unable to post his bond, so he had to stay in an Oklahoma jail to await trial. While there he met a nineteen-year-old named John Fisher, who was awaiting trial for murder. He influenced and convinced a naive Duncan to help him escape.
On August 18, 1992, Duncan's bail was reduced which allowed his family to pay it off and get him released. The judge ordered that he stay with his mother and father. However, he wanted to live in his apartment; after an argument, he left in his sister's pickup truck. He picked up several guns and created homemade bombs and Molotov cocktails.
On the next day, August 19, he arrived at the jail and pulled a gun on one of the deputies. He locked the deputy in a jail cell and took his shirt. He then freed Fisher from his cell. Fisher tried to turn the escape into a massive jail break. However, only one other inmate, Timothy Johnson, came with them. The three left in Duncan's sister's truck. Thirty minutes passed before police were alerted of the escape.
Several witnesses reported a pickup truck weaving in and out of traffic along Interstate 40. A roadblock was set up in an attempt to stop the truck. However, Duncan drove around the roadblock and led highway patrolmen on a wild police chase at speeds of up to 100mph. During this, Fisher pulled out a gun and began firing at one of the patrolmen.
During the pursuit, he also threw several bottle bombs at the patrol cars, but they all failed to detonate. The truck then smashed through a metal gate at the entrance of Kerr Lake and came to rest on the side of the road. At that point, the fugitives got out and began firing at the officers; incredibly, no one was injured.
Finally, at around 7:45 pm, the men fled onto a peninsula that stuck out into the lake, which trapped them. By nightfall, the police attempted to seal off all possible escape routes. At around 10 pm, Fisher and Johnson were captured. At first, they claimed that Duncan had been shot and killed in the woods. However, they later claimed that he had actually separated from them and vanished.
Amazingly, Duncan had eluded police detection, and has not been seen since. One month later, the badly decomposed body of a young man was found on the south shore of Kerr Lake. It was determined that he was a camper who had vanished around the same time that Duncan had disappeared. He had been shot in the head, and investigators believed that Duncan murdered him in order to flee in his pickup truck. He has not been seen since.
Extra Notes: This case first aired on the November 17, 1993 episode.

Duncan after his 1994 arrest

Results: Captured. Thanks to viewers tips, Duncan was arrested on May 1, 1994, in Boise, Idaho. Investigators learned that he had been traveling to different states across the country, working odd jobs. Five days after his arrest, he was returned to Oklahoma to face several felony charges, including kidnapping, robbery, assault with a deadly weapon, and escape.
After he was returned to Oklahoma, he told investigators how he managed to elude their detection. He stated that he traveled through the woods until he reached the edge of Kerr Lake. He hid in the bushes until it became dark. He then swam across the lake to a cove. After walking around a mountain, he was picked up by a passing motorist.
Duncan was tried, convicted, and sentenced to twenty years in prison. He was released in 2002 after serving eight years. Investigators now believe that he was not involved in the death of the camper.
Meanwhile, John Fisher was given a life sentence for the murder that he was awaiting trial for, along with other charges relating to the escape and shootout. Timothy Johnson served time and also has since been released.