Robert “Wayne” Linder, age 24, vanished from Chicago, Illinois on June 2, 1969.

Wayne was attending DePaul University in 1969 and was majoring in business.  On the day of his disappearance, he took a final exam, then went to a bank to withdraw money for a deposit on an apartment.  This was the last confirmed sighting of Wayne.

Wayne was from Arkansas, and his family still lived there while he was in Chicago attending college.  The circumstances of his disappearance are so vague.  He must have been moving locally from one residence to another, as the final exam indicates he had been in Chicago long enough to complete at least one semester.  I wish there was more information on where he was moving from and moving to, and whether there were any issues that prompted him to move.  Were his belongings left behind at his old residence?

I did a search in the Illinois Unclaimed Property database, a resource I occasionally look to when the place a missing person was living is unknown and possibly relevant.  I only found one entry for a Robert Linder with an address in Chicago, and I don’t believe this to be the same Robert Linder.  This particular property is proceeds due from a life insurance policy, and our Robert Wayne Linder’s immediate family were all still living.  It’s kind of odd that his bank balance wasn’t listed, though.  We know he had a bank account in Chicago since he was known to have withdrawn funds from it the day he vanished.  As far as I can tell, Wayne has not been declared deceased, so if he left any money in his account after making that withdrawal, even if it was only a few dollars, it should have been reported to the state and listed as unclaimed.  Unless he had the account jointly with someone else, no one else should have been able to withdraw from it.  This leads me to wonder if he took all his money out of the account that day, either under duress or with an intent to leave of his own accord.  It’s also possible that the deposit on the apartment required him to empty the account.

Aside from the obvious theory that Wayne could have been robbed since he had just withdrawn a large sum of money, it’s worth mentioning that his disappearance fell during a time that many young men were disappearing voluntarily to avoid the draft.

It appears that Wayne had a twin brother, Mark Linder.  I’m not 100% certain they were identical twins, but their yearbook photos look remarkably alike.  Both brothers were involved in theater during their high school days.

Wayne had returned to Arkansas for his brother’s wedding just months before he disappeared.  Since his relatives lived several states away, it probably took some time for anyone to realize he was missing.  If he was in the process of moving, his absence may not have been unexpected by any roommates or neighbors.  This could explain why no media accounts of his disappearance could be found.

If still alive, Wayne would be about 80 years old today.  His mother passed away in 2014 at the age of 91; her obituary listed Wayne as deceased.  His brother is still alive.


The Charley Project




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