The Doe Network:
Case File 3657DMCO

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Ray Collins
Missing since July 1987 from Salida, Colorado
Classification: Endangered Missing

Vital Statistics

  • Date of Birth: October 3, 1929
  • Age at Time of Disappearance: 57 years old
  • Height and Weight: 5'9 and 150 lbs
  • Distinguishing Characteristics: White/Native male. Dark hair. Tan complexion.

Circumstances of Disappearance
Friends Dave Caffey, Richard Birth and Ray Collins quit their jobs and set out on a three-month mining expedition to Salida, Colorado in July 1987, with hopes of finding gold and rare gems.
Three weeks into the trip, a family emergency called Birth back to Lake Wales. A few days later, Caffey said he dropped off Collins, who wanted to see the Grand Canyon, at a bus station in Colorado Springs.
Later that month, Caffey returned to Florida driving Collins' Toyota pickup, which also held Collins' clothes and mining equipment.
Collins was never heard from again.
During previous investigations, Colorado detectives discovered Caffey bought two $25,000 life insurance policies on both Birth and Collins before their trip.
Caffey had also collected $5,000 from Collins to mine minerals on the Colorado claim. But, as detectives learned, the mining camp they set up was on public land frequented by prospectors.
Caffey later collected the life insurance funds after Collins was declared dead by the state in 1989. Caffey hasn't been cooperative with investigators.
Collins and his wife at the time had taken several trips to Franklin, N.C., to mine for rare rocks. He called a couple of times during the three men's trip to tell her that he was having fun and that they had not found much. He did not mention wanting to visit the Grand Canyon.
When Collins did not come home, the family was suspicious. Married at least twice, Collins had a large family including three biological children, stepchildren and grandchildren.
He was a resident of Winter Haven, Florids at the time of his disappearance.
The case was re-opened in 2008 and Colorado investigators worked a joint investigation with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the Winter Haven and Lake Wales police departments.

If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:

Chaffee County Sheriff's Office
Detective Andy Rohrich

Agency Case Number: 87-2613/NamUs MP# 12001

Please refer to this number when contacting any agency with information regarding this case.

Source Information:
The Ledger
Chaffee County Sheriff's Office

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Last Updated: 5/15/2012 - By: BR / Web Assist