Aaron Michael Pate, age 17, resided in Keota, Iowa in 1992.

On March 25, 1992, Aaron is believed to have left his residence in a family vehicle, which he parked in the Iowa City library parking lot. The car was towed and impounded due to unpaid parking tickets.

it’s also believed that Aaron stole a mail carrier’s vehicle from behind the post office. This vehicle was found abandoned on Kewash Nature Trail. Aaron never returned home.

Aaron had spoken of traveling to Grand Canyon, Arizona to visit his father, who he had only met twice in his lifetime. His mother and siblings believed he had left the area voluntarily, possibly via Greyhound and/or hitchhiking.

As their father was estranged from the family, it would take many years for Aaron’s brother, Ian, to find a way to get in contact with his father. In 2015, Ian learned that his father was incarcerated in Arizona, and was able to make contact with him.

His father confirmed that Aaron had visited him in Arizona several months after leaving Iowa, and had mentioned plans to meet a girl in Boulder, Colorado after leaving his father. The girl’s identity is not known, and Aaron has not been seen since. His father seemed surprised to learn that Aaron is missing.

Although Aaron is believed to have stolen a vehicle leading up to his disappearance, he did not have a history of getting into trouble, and has been described as a quiet and friendly young man.

I am a bit perplexed about the stolen vehicle, and can’t really make sense of why he would have taken it Its believed that he intended to leave town, which could have been a motivation for taking it, but he didn’t use it to leave town. If he parked it on that nature trail, he would have needed a way back. All I can really think of is that he may have initially taken it with the intent to use it to leave town, but then worried about being caught, or just felt guilty, and decided to ditch it instead?

it just seems to me that someone with no history of criminal activity would need a good reason to suddenly steal a vehicle.

One of Aaron’s sisters has died since his disappearance, but his brother, Ian, and another sister continue to search for him. Ian has expressed frustration with law enforcement, as he has been pushing them to question his father, and they have not done so.

Although Aaron is believed to have been in Arizona after his disappearance, most sources still list him as missing from Iowa. The Arizona Department of Public Safety does list him as missing from Grand Canyon, Arizona.

Note: Some sources list his age at the time of his disappearance as 18. I believe he was 17 when he was last seen, but had turned 18 by the time he was reported missing the following year.


Iowa Cold Cases

The Charley Project

One thought on “Aaron Pate

  1. Why was the father serving time in prison?

    It seems like he claimed to be the last person to see Aaron alive and he should be considered a person of interest.

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