First missing child on milk carton believed to be trafficked

March 2, 2011

Des Moines, IA - The mother of Johnny Gosch still has hope. Johnny went missing in 1982 during his paper route. His parents found out as customers started complaining that they hadn't gotten their papers. When his father walked around the neighborhood, he found his Johnny's wagon still full of papers, with Johnny nowhere to be seen.

Johnny Gosch's missing case was the first to be publicized on a milk carton, and is one of the most famous missing child cases of our time. Yet Johnny is still not back. With over 25 years of searching, his mom still has hope that Johnny is alive.

Johnny's mom doesn't believe he ran away, or was taken in by another family, she believes he was and continues to be a victim of human trafficking. Johnny's mom travels around the country for two reasons: to aid in the investigation to find her missing son and to share their story.

It happens frequently. Children are reported missing without a trace. Instead of returning safely to their families, often they are brought into the world of trafficking.


Johnny Gosch
Missing Since: 09/05/1982
Missing From: West Des Moines, IA
Classification: Endangered Missing
Age at Disappearance: 12
Height: 5’7”
Weight: 140 lbs
Eyes: Blue
Hair: Light Brown
Identifying mark:
-Facial freckles
-Gap between upper front teeth
-Birthmark on left cheek

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