Donald James Cavanaugh
North American Missing Persons Network
Donald James Cavanaugh

1 2
Above Images: Cavanaugh, circa 2005

Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance

  • Missing Since: March 1, 2005 from Westport, Mendocino County, California
  • Classification: Endangered Missing
  • Date Of Birth: July 26, 1941
  • Age: 64
  • Height: 5'8"
  • Weight: 140 lbs
  • Hair Color: Gray
  • Eye Color: Blue
  • Race: White
  • Gender: Male
  • Medical Conditions: A quadruple bypass.
  • AKA: JC, Don
  • Dental: Available
  • DNA: Available
  • Fingerprints: Available
  • Case Number: 052135
  • NCIC Number: M575016662

  • Details of Disappearance
    Donald was last seen in the Ukiah area. Information was received suggesting he may have moved to the Westport area in May of 2005.

    Donald's vehicle and personal property were later located at a Westport residence.

    Missing person David Neily had a connection to the same Pacific coast horse farm and both are feared dead. The cases may be connected. The mystery of Cavanaugh's and Neily's disappearances is rooted in Westport, a small unincorporated community in Mendocino County. In regard to Cavanaugh and Neily, no one has reported witnessing the cause of either man's disappearance. There have been no concrete clues suggesting foul play, and there is no positive proof that either man didn't wander off on his own.

    In 2004, Cavanaugh, who was living in Illinois, was contacted by his nephew, James "Jimmy" DeNoyer. At the time, DeNoyer operated a 20-acre horse ranch in Westport, Calif., and asked his uncle to help run the ranch. The two men struck a deal, and DeNoyer drove to Illinois to pick up his uncle and more than a dozen horses his uncle had hand-selected for their new joint venture. By Christmas 2004, things between Donald Cavanaugh and DeNoyer came to a head. DeNoyer thought Don stole some money, so he dropped him off at San Francisco Airport.

    Cavanaugh did not have any money, so he went to stay with a friend in Laytonville, Calif. He remained there for a few weeks until his friend took him to a shelter in nearby Ukiah. While at the shelter, Cavanaugh said he was going to go back to DeNoyer's to pick up his belongings

    Cavanaugh left the shelter in March 2005. Whether he went to get his belongings or simply vanished along the way is unknown. What is known is that no one has heard from him since.

    Investigating Agency
    If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
    Mendocino County Sheriffs Department
    Detective Dustin Lorenzo
    (707) 967-2692

    Source Information
    CA DOJ
    Mendocino County Sheriffs Department