Gary Dale Mathias
North American Missing Persons Network
Gary Dale Mathias

Above Images: Mathias

Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance

  • Missing Since: February 24, 1978 from Oroville, Yuba County, California
  • Classification: Endangered Missing
  • Date Of Birth: October 15, 1952
  • Age: 25
  • Height: 5'10"
  • Weight: 170 lbs.
  • Hair Color: Brown
  • Eye Color: Hazel
  • Race: White
  • Gender: Male
  • Distinguishing Characteristics: Glasses.
  • Medical Conditions: Schizophrenia
  • Case Number: 78-0534

  • Details of Disappearance
    Gary Dale Mathias along with four others, all disabled young men, became lost in a snow storm in the mountains east of Oroville, Ca. The group had gone to a basketball game at the California State University at Chico that evening. They never made it home. They were supposed to play a basketball game of their own the next day, at the Yuba City vocational rehabilitation center for the handicapped. With the exception of Mathias, who occasionally stayed out all night with friends, each of the lost men led mostly stay-at-home lives in the care of their families.

    The vehicle they were traveling in was found on February 28, 1978, 70 miles from Chico, on a deserted mountain road. The gas tank was a quarter full. The keys were gone, but when police hot-wired the car the engine started immediately.

    The remains of the other four were located four months later, in and on the road to a deserted forest service trailer camp, 20 miles from where the car was found. At least one of the men is thought to have survived for anywhere from eight to 13 weeks.

    Searchers found no sign of Gary Mathias, except for his tennis shoes inside the forest service trailer. He was not carrying his billfold when he left the house for the Chico basketball game, so he had no identification on him.

    Mathias lived in his parent's home and worked as an assistant in his stepfather's gardening business. He was an Army veteran with psychiatric discharge after drug problems that developed in Germany five years earlier. He collected Army psychiatric disability pay and was very attached to his family.

    Investigating Agency
    If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
    Yuba County Sheriff's Department
    (530) 749-7777

    Source Information
    Yuba County Sheriff's Department
    The Washington Post