Name: Curtis Pishon
Case Classification: Endangered Missing
Missing Since: July 5, 2000
Location Last Seen: Seabrook, Rockingham County, New Hampshire
Date of Birth: July 11, 1959
Age: 40 years old
Weight: 160-170 lbs.
Hair Color: Brown/graying
Eye Color: Brown
Distinguishing Marks/Features: He was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and has difficulty walking. He may have a mustache and he wears contact lenses.
DNA: Not Available
Clothing: Light blue security guard uniform top, dark pants.
Additional Personal Items: New boots.
Curtis Pishon was a police officer for ten years before being stricken with multiple sclerosis. The disease limited his mobility, eventually to the point of interfering with his ability to handle his gun. Curtis was forced to resign as a police officer, an event that relatives say devastated him. Curtis became depressed and withdrawn, moving from job to job before becoming a security guard for an automobile part factory (Venture Corporation, now defunct), a job that had less physical requirements than a police officer's and didn't require him to carry a gun.
On July 4 at 9:30 AM, Curtis arrived at work. According to employees at the time of his arrival and factory supervisors who met with him at midnight, he was behaving normally and was in good spirits. At 1:42 AM, firefighters responded to a phone call by Curtis. According to fire department deputy chief Jeff Brown, Curtis's car had caught fire and he had attempted to put it out himself with a fire extinguisher before calling, a statement backed up by evidence of attempts to subdue the fire. Firefighters who talked with Curtis found him to be very accepting of and not upset by the car fire, despite his car containing a lot of his belongings, including some of most treasured possessions. It is unknown how the fire in Curtis's car started, though investigators believe Curtis may have started it accidentally or that the fire was started by criminals in order to provide a distraction while they committed a crime. It should be noted that the car contained no signs of arson, accelerants, or accidental ignition. An hour and a half after the fire was extinguished, around 3:20 AM, the security supervisor for the factory talked with Curtis, who said he felt fine about the fire. The supervisor left Curtis at 3:25 AM. At 3:45 AM, a worker arriving at the factory noticed that Curtis wasn't at his station. Around this time, a night-shift foreman noticed two vehicles rapidly departing the factory. After Curtis's disappearance was noticed, both the factory and the surrounding area were searched extensively but fruitlessly. The first theory of Curtis's disappearance is that Curtis committed suicide. Since resigning from law enforcement, Curtis had a history of depression and alcohol abuse. The loss of his car and everything in it may have caused him to become suicidal.
Alternatively, Curtis may have been suicidal beforehand and purposefully caused the fire as a way of "detaching" himself from the world before taking his life. Though Curtis's father doubts the suicide theory based on his son's cheerful mood at the time of his disappearance and the days preceding it, an unusually elevated mood is actually a common symptom in sufferers of depression who have made plans to commit suicide. However, neither Curtis's body nor any instrument of suicide have been found. Though Curtis bought a 9mm handgun from his father on July 3 (just days before his disappearance), the gun could not be found. It was later discovered by Curtis's relatives as they were clearing out his apartment, still wrapped in the brown paper bag his father had sold it to him in. Another theory is that Curtis, after losing his car and most of his possessions, decided to simply walk away from his old life. However, due to his deteriorated physical health and lack of transportation (no taxi cab or shipping trucks left the factory during Curtis's shift), it's unlikely Curtis could have gotten far from the factory.
Additionally, many of Curtis's belongings were left at his workplace, including his cigarettes, his packed lunch, his glasses, and his contact lens solution. Since disappearing, there has been no activity on Curtis's Social Security number, bank accounts, credit cards, or pension checks.
A third theory is that Curtis was abducted and probably murdered, most likely due to witnessing a crime taking place that night. It's reported that a door and two vending machines in the factory were damaged during Curtis's shift that night and that, at the time a factory employee first noticed Curtis missing, another employee saw two cars speeding out of the factory. Suspects: Robert E. April, a coworker of Curtis's, is considered a person of interest in this case. In October 2008, he was arrested for threatening to kill the brother of a man who owed him money. In the threat, he had allegedly said he had killed and buried Curtis. Robert has not been charged with or officially connected to Curtis's disappearance.
Agency Name: New Hampshire State Police Major Crime Unit - Cold Case Unit
Agency Contact Person: TFC Richard J. Perreault, III
Agency Phone Number: 603-223-3856
Agency E-Mail: Richard.Perreault@dos.nh.gov
Agency Case Number: 00-4263
NCIC Case Number: Unknown
NamUs Case Number: 11578
New Hampshire Department of Justice
Added: Prior to 2011; Last Updated: 7/14/2017
Questions or comments? Please contact appropriate member of the Area Team
** Listed information is from the time of disappearance.