Mystery of man's disappearance still haunts small Nebraska town

Published: Jun. 24, 2019 at 6:47 PM CDT
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It’s been a year since a man mysteriously vanished from a small Nebraska town about a half hour from Omaha. His mother hasn’t given up hope or stopped looking for her son.

Hope shines in a pendant that 34-year-old Josh Stratton gave his mother a few years ago.

Wendy Guida remembers, “Joy on his face when he gave it to me.”

That memory keeps Wendy searching for answers in her son’s disappearance.

“I do believe he was murdered," she said. "He just disappeared off the face of the earth with no contact, and that’s not like him.”

The day after Josh was last seen, friend Dan Tierney came to visit in Alvo, Neb., and says he found the back door open but Josh nowhere inside.

“The milk outside of the refrigerator... Josh was a pretty big fanatic about chocolate milk, and it’s not like him to leave that out and spoil,” Tierney said.

According to a Cass County Sheriff’s bulletin, on July 2 last year, Josh was reported missing and disappeared June 23 — nine days earlier. The alert states family took Josh for groceries and dropped him off at home the day he went missing.

Josh’s father, Gregg Stratton, who lives a few miles away is the registered owner of the house. Grandfather Dick Wilson, a former lawman, himself believes Josh’s disappearance is suspicious.

“He didn’t go three or four days without contacting somebody. Plus we were his source as far as money," Wilson said.

Josh Stratton suffered from schizophrenia and walked places but Wendy insists he wouldn’t walk away.

“It breaks my heart, and I keep wondering where the heck he is?" she said.

The pendant from Josh remains close to his mother’s heart and Wendy vows never to miss a beat in keeping the investigation alive.

“I’d love for him to just come walking through the door," she said.

A Cass County Sheriff’s investigator will only tell us that there’s an ongoing investigation and it’s progressing. Gregg Stratton, the father of the missing man, didn’t reply to our numerous requests to be involved in this story on his son’s disappearance.

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