Select It Sunday: Landon Lee DeRiggi

Chosen by Hennylee, this Select It Sunday case is Landon Lee DeRiggi, a 13-year-old who’s been missing for 43 years next month. A very sad case, simply because he was so young and he’s been missing for that long. He disappeared from Miami Shores, Florida.

Landon has an unusual physical characteristic: he’s got a deviated septum, which makes his nose look slanted, as if it had been broken some time in his life. The Mayo Clinic says a deviated septum can only be corrected by surgery. He’s also legally blind, something that was corrected by (presumably very thick) glasses, but he refused to wear them.

Authorities believed, at the time, that Landon had run away. They had reason to think this: he had a history of running away, he had behavioral problems including being hyperactive, and they found his stuff hidden behind a hedge as if he was going to pick it up later. Even his mom figured he’d run away.

But now the police believe he’s dead, and again, with good reason: it’s VERY unlikely that a runaway, especially one as young as Landon, could have vanished off the face of the earth like that for four and a half decades. And his home life doesn’t appear to have been troubled; it seems like he would have gotten in touch with his family if he could have.

The most recent press I could find on this case was a really good article from 2008. The original link is lost but you can read the entire text on Websleuths — it’s towards the middle of the page.

5 thoughts on “Select It Sunday: Landon Lee DeRiggi

  1. Mischa June 19, 2016 / 11:51 am

    I always wondered if anyone besides his family saw him after the camping trip.

  2. Maria June 23, 2016 / 12:52 am

    You cannot convince me that he ever left the house to begin with that day. I get the strong feeling that someone in that household knows much more than has been said. If alive nowadays, he would have most definitely have been a special needs child, yet his mother let him leave the house on his own at the crack of dawn,knowing very well that he was blind as a bat and didn’t have good common sense(by her own admission), and then patiently waited for him to come back. If my disabled child said they were going anywhere, the LAST PLACE I would be, is sleeping. If my disabled child stayed gone longer than 15-20 minutes and walking a block in either direction calling their name didn’t bring them running then I would have the police on the phone in a heartbeat. 1-2 days before notifying the authorities?! What was his mother thinking? What did she have to hide besides the truth? Something isn’t right here.

  3. Mischa June 26, 2016 / 4:37 pm

    Maria, the seventies were a very different Time. Children would roam free the whole day til dawn and cover miles on their bikes and by foot. They only dangers their parents feared were the traffic and – as long the kids couldn’t swim -bodies of water. There just wasn’t much awareness of stranger danger.Children were warned not to take candy from strangers. But most people were sure that their children were save any time when they played in their neighborhood.

    • Aja October 1, 2016 / 12:12 am

      Mischa, I know what you say is true, because my own mother has told me many stories of growing up in the 1970s/1980s in a small town where everyone knew everyone else in some way or another and children roamed freely with litte supervision. However I also understand where Maria is coming from and agree that Landon was not the kind of child who could be trusted to act responsibly and avoid trouble given his many issues. Children back then were relatively mature and had their wits about them, but Landon could see barely see his hand of his face and lacked the common sense God gave to a rock. He could not defend himself or correctly judge dangerous situations and therefore his parents were negligent not to keep very close tabs on him at all times. While his parents probably gave him the sphill about not talking to or taking any rides from strangers, it is entirely possible and very likely that someone took avantage of his extreme vulnerableness and enticed him into a car. Only God knows what happened after that, but seeing as if Landon was still alive he would be 57 years old, his abductor and likely murderer is probably dead by now and no one will ever know what exactly happened to Landon.

  4. Alice December 19, 2017 / 4:32 pm

    Has anyone considered John Rodney McRae? He lived in Florida but quite a way away from Miami.

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