North American Missing Persons Network
Shawn C. Hess

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Above Images: Hess, circa 2002

Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance

  • Missing Since: February 2002 from Brainerd, Crow Wing County, Minnesota
  • Classification: Endangered Missing
  • Date Of Birth: 1974
  • Age: 28
  • Height: 6'1"
  • Weight: 175-210 lbs.
  • Hair Color: Blond
  • Eye Color: Green
  • Race: White
  • Gender: Male
  • Distinguishing Characteristics: Shoulder length hair
    worn in a ponytail. Dimples. Tattoos on back, chest,
    right shoulder, left shoulder, upper left arm, upper right arm.
    Pierced ears.
  • Medical Conditions: May have been using drugs
    and/or alcohol.
  • Case Number: 02006705

  • Details of Disappearance
    Hess' family members reported him as a missing person on February 28, 2002, although they believe he disappeared two weeks earlier. Hess' apartment in the 1100 block of South Sixth Street was untouched. He left all of his clothing, identification and medication inside of his residence. There has not been any activity within Hess' bank accounts since February 2002.

    Law enforcement officials believe Shawn Hess died of hypothermia as he succumbed to the cold just east of Brainerd. He likely was disoriented and confused. He followed the railroad tracks parallel to Highway 210. Searches recovered his clothing, first a jacket then pants, shirt, shoes and socks, all in a progressive path along the railroad tracks. It is not uncommon for hypothermia victims to remove their clothing as they have a false perception of being hot even as they are freezing to death.

    He may have left the railroad tracks and attempted to reach the lights of a house south of Highway 210 extending east to County Road 25. The rough terrain just off the railroad grade is formidable with swamps and bogs and woods. Searches by air, on foot, on horseback, all were unsuccessful. Investigators used cadaver dogs and entered the dark water of murky bogs. Family members searched as well, even taking to a rubber raft to cover more area.

    Hess has yet to be found.

    Investigating Agency
    If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
    Brainerd Police Department
    Inv. Chad Kleffman
    (218) 829-2805

    Source Information
    The Citizen Observer
    Brainerd Dispatch