The Mysterious Disappearances of Four Southern Illinois Men

Published: Updated: 11 comments

Michael Womack

Michael Womack
Michael Womack. RiverBender.com

23-year-old Michael Anthony Womack was last seen leaving a friend’s house in Alton, Illinois, between 1:30 and 2:00 p.m. on March 31, 2008.

Michael was driving his dark green 2004 Ford F-150 truck. It was found in a gas station parking lot in Cahokia, Illinois, two weeks after his disappearance with the keys locked inside.

Cahokia is about 30 miles south of Alton adjacent to the Mississippi River.

There was no damage to the vehicle, and someone had wiped it clean of any evidence.

Michael did not know anyone in Cahokia, but his sister told RiverBender.com that Wal-mart Corporation had plans to open a store there, and that would have been the only reason Michael would have been in that town.

A phone tower transmitted the last call on his cell phone near the former Godfrey speedway in Godfrey, Illinois, six miles north of Alton. However, the call could have come from any location within a minimum twenty-mile radius of the base station, including Alton.

Michael never showed up for his job at the Wood River Wal-Mart, nor did he attend a traffic court’s scheduled appearance two days later.

Joel Moore

Joel Moore
Joel Moore

28-year-old Joel Moore was last seen by a coworker driving his white Cadillac Deville on Route 13 in Harrisburg, Illinois, on March 27, 2010.

While this was not a confirmed sighting, the coworker was positive that the person was Joel.

Joel, who resided in nearby Galatia, sent a text to his brother, Nathan, around 6:30 pm, saying he would stay with some old friends and would not be home that night.

He worked at the now-defunct Mad Pricer in Harrisburg. He left behind all of his belongings, save for his contact solution. No one has seen or heard from since. 

Not long after his disappearance, witnesses reported seeing him with the Rainbow Family of the Living Light in Jefferson County. His family said that they were not the type of people he normally hung out with. 

Joel and his vehicle have never been found.

While there was an initial search for him in 2010, there has been little activity in the case since. 

Jared Hanna

Jared Hanna
Jared Hanna

Jared Hanna, 28 years old and a father of two girls, was last seen on Saturday, July 2, 2011.

His abandoned and parked 1990 GMC truck was found without gas on July 5 on Jolliff Bridge Road in Clinton County, nearly two hours from his residence in Jerseyville in Jersey County.

Jared’s last confirmed sighting was at 11:45 am on July 2 on surveillance images at a local food mart.

There were a couple of unconfirmed sightings of Jared at a couple of bars in Alton that night.

A motorist reported seeing someone matching his description — 5 foot, 7 inches tall with black hair, brown eyes and scars on the back of his head and right heel of his foot — walking along the road about midnight July 3. Clinton County authorities said Hanna knocked on the door of a residence near where his truck was found out of gas about 8:30 that morning.

(Samantha McDaniel-Ogletree, MyJournalCourier.com, December 24, 2019)

When Jared did not pick his daughters up to go fishing on July 3, his family knew something was wrong. Calls to his cell phone went straight to voicemail.

His cell phone pinged off a tower around 9:30 pm on July 2 in Centralia. Sometime after, his phone was either shut off or had died.

Later that summer, Jared’s black duffel bag was found underneath a deer stand five miles from where his truck was found. Investigators said it had been there since he disappeared. No leads came from the duffel bag.

Despite several searches for Jared Hanna, he has never been found. He is not listed in The Charley Project or The Doe Network databases.

William “Bill” McPike

William "Bill" McPike
William “Bill” McPike

61-year-old William “Bill” McPike went missing on May 18, 2017. He was last seen walking into his home near the Piasa Creek opening of the Mississippi River on Bluff Lane. He has not been seen since, and there are few details available in his case.

A quick Facebook search led to his brother’s page, where there is no mention of Bill’s disappearance. It does not appear authorities found him dead or alive.

True Crime Diva’s Thoughts

I realize this is not a typical post. I wanted to write on Joel Moore initially, but there is barely any info on him, so instead, I chose to write on these four cases.

All four men mysteriously vanished, and it appears little is being done to find them. Why??

I know that Michael’s family and Jared’s family have Facebook groups set up. But there is nothing on Joel Moore or Bill McPike.

I have been to Alton and Jerseyville. I had a friend who grew up in J-ville, and I visited her a few times many years ago. It’s a typical small town where people know your business.

Alton is a river town and a bit run down. It has its fair share of crime for a town of fewer than 30,000 residents.

While these cases do not appear related, they do share some similarities.

For example, Bill, Jared, and Michael lived within a few miles of one another.

Bill McPike lived outside Godfrey, where Michael Womack’s phone pinged off a tower there.

Michael was last seen in Alton, where witnesses said they saw Jared at two bars the night he vanished.

Jared, Joel, and Michael were all in their 20s who vanished without a trace with their vehicles.

Jared and Michael were both driving pickup trucks that were later found abandoned miles from their homes.

Michael

I think that Michael Womack probably met with foul play. What about the friend he had visited in Alton? Did Michael actually leave, or did something happen to him there?

What about his coworkers? Any enemies?

Joel

I believe it’s possible that Joel Moore and his vehicle could be in a body of water around Harrisburg. Numerous lakes and ponds surround Galatia and Harrisburg, plus the Middle Fork Saline River is nearby.

This might explain why his car was never found.

I’m not sure what to make of the sightings with the Rainbow Family. I don’t see him leaving everything behind at the last minute to be with them.

He did not take any personal belongings except for his contact solution, which tells me he planned to be gone only one night.

I would like to know who the “old friends” were he was going to visit the night he vanished.

Jared

Jared Hanna was most likely murdered, but by who and why is the mystery. Why was he so far from home? His sister said he might have gone fishing near Centralia.

If that was Jared in the Alton bars, why on earth did he drive southeast towards Centralia instead of going home? I realize that may not have been Jared, but I still want to know why he was so far away from home and how he could not find his way back.

It’s obvious he became lost, but what happened to him after he asked for directions?

I think Jared was at the wrong place at the wrong time and met with foul play. His truck was found without gas, with his keys locked inside. When he asked for directions, he obviously still had gas in his truck.

Bill

The obvious thing to say about Bill is that he fell in Piasa Creek and drowned. But I don’t believe that is what happened.

I would like to know more about him and the type of person he was. Did he have any enemies?

Who last saw Bill? Someone saw him walking into his residence? What time?

11 comments

Carla Allen November 14, 2020 - 10:13 PM

I remember when Joel Moore was first reported missing. Channel 3 had a short story on about him being missing. But as you are saying, little else has ever been said about him that I am aware of. It isn’t surprising to hear of southern Illinois police. A Woman murdered in an apartment in Carbondale was covered at a televised news conference and the subject of Gunshot Residue GSR was mentioned and the top cop said to’Google’ it. That you could read all about it. SMH…

Reply
truecrimediva November 16, 2020 - 10:06 AM

Are you talking about Molly Young? I am familiar with her case. No doubt that was murder.

Reply
Carla Allen November 17, 2020 - 11:22 AM

Yes I was talking about Molly Young.

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Carla Allen November 17, 2020 - 11:52 PM

Yes, I am talking about Molly Young. She definitely was murdered by Richie Minton. Why in this world her family is not being heard is a mystery! I have followed this case since it happened and the Facebook page full of people who can’t believe they are not being heard.

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truecrimediva November 19, 2020 - 5:49 PM

I know! It’s ridiculous! But that’s how it is in southern IL apparently. Pravin Varughese is another death in Carbondale that was clearly murder. Cops in that town are either lazy, crooked, or both.

Reply
Carla Allen November 20, 2020 - 4:26 PM

The prosecutor in Jackson County is on his way out! This is huge for that county. The other people are watching with anticipation about this new prosecutor. I met him late last year and I think he is a very moral person. We shall see soon!
About Pravin, the State people who took that case to trial, didn’t do that to win, in my opinion. I truly believe it was done to keep Lovely and Monica Zukas quiet. I have nothing other than that’s my gut feeling.
Hopefully new politics will be better!

truecrimediva November 20, 2020 - 6:55 PM

That is great news!! If you hear anything more, please let me know!

I live in Illinois but in the west-central part of the state. One of these days, I need to go visit Carbondale lol.

Carla Allen November 23, 2020 - 2:37 PM

I certainly will let you know if something happens. Although you want to see or visit Carbondale, you are not losing anything by not coming down here. You are probably gaining. Lol.

truecrimediva November 25, 2020 - 12:28 PM

LOL sounds like where I live!!

Jonathan Hank November 11, 2020 - 3:23 PM

I live in this area (Belleville) and spent my high school years in Breese, IL (Clinton County). I remember Joel Moore. The rumor going around was that he did drugs and possible died of an overdose and the people with him freaked out and buried him. This was the rumor around the time. The cops were told this and whether they followed up or not is questionable.

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truecrimediva November 12, 2020 - 8:45 AM

I wondered about that! Yeah, it doesn’t appear that the police are too keen on investigating his disappearance. Maybe that’s why. Who knows.

Reply

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True Crime Diva

True Crime Diva

I've blogged true crime since 2010, happily taking up only a tiny corner of the internet. I'm not here for attention; I'm here to tell you their stories.

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