John Leroy Crofts
Missing since February-March, 1998 from Huntsville, Ontario, Canada
Classification: Endangered Missing
Circumstances of Disappearance
John Crofts last resided on Yearly Road, Huntsville.
He was last seen in the Huntsville area between February and March 1998.
John Crofts had been a drifter -- living in men's shelters and rooming houses in Toronto's downtown. Over the course of Croft's troubled life, his family had tried to care for him but mental illness had made that difficult.
His sister last saw him in March, 1997 when he boarded a bus to Toronto from her hometown of Peterborough, Ontario. She didn't learn about his disappearance until Ontario Provincial Police called her in 2001.
Four senior citizens went missing in the Muskoka area north of Toronto between 1998 and 1999.
John Crofts; John Semple; 69 year-old Ralph Grant and Joan Lawrence. All had something in common. They were alone in the world -- cut off from family and friends because of mental illness and old age. No one has ever come forward with key information about what happened to them.
But all four of the seniors did share one other thing in common, a connection to a family, the Laans, who owned and administered Christian seniors' residences near Huntsville. The three men lived at one of these residences before they disappeared. Joan Lawrence lived in a garden shed on the family property.
In 2003 and 2004, the Laan siblings were convicted for embezzling money from seniors who had resided at their retirement homes. The Laans had been depositing old age security and pension checks from their elderly clients into their own accounts -- stealing from people who had died of natural causes and from the three men who had disappeared. They had never reported them missing. The Laans were given conditional sentences.
Foul play is suspected.
If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
Ontario Provincial Police
Missing Persons and Unidentified Bodies/Remains Unit
1-877-934-6363 - Toll Free in North America
705-330-4144 - Local or outside of North America
Agency Case Number: 20060127
Ontario Provincial Police - Missing Persons and Unidentified Bodies/Remains Unit
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