Gary Patterson was a Texas draftsman and a single dad who cared deeply for his daughter Crystal, aged six. Patterson, a hardworking and ambitious man, saw an opportunity to oversee a new project in El Paso. He was preparing himself for the new job with a goal of giving his daughter a better life. Michelle Wilson helped him choose the right outfit for his interview. The family was full of hope for the future. Unfortunately, the optimism was short-lived because Patterson never returned from his interview.

Where was Patterson for his interview?

Patterson’s job was located east of El Paso in the Chihuahuan Desert. The revelation was made more disturbing when it became known that the work was located in Juarez. Juarez has a history of violence and corruption, which makes it a dangerous place for anyone. Patterson’s inexperience with the area and Juarez’s notorious reputation would increase the fear of Patterson and his fiancee.

What happened after Patterson disappeared?

Michelle Wilson and the Patterson family immediately reported Patterson’s absence, sensing that something was wrong. They sought the assistance of Detective Steve January, a Waco Police Department detective. January’s team was concerned about the disappearance because Patterson had mentioned the Juarez location. Patterson was first confirmed to have taken a flight between Waco and El Paso. However, after this, he disappeared. His family was so desperate that they even checked jails and prisons close to the Mexican border with the help of the Mexican Consulate.

What role did Lisa Urick Patterson play in this situation?

An investigation led to the revelation of Gary Patterson’s turbulent past with Lisa Urick Patterson, his ex-wife. Lisa’s 1994 abduction and the history of custody battles following their divorce in 1992 raised eyebrows. However, upon questioning, Lisa had a concrete alibi. She had a murky past with Patterson but she wasn’t behind the mysterious disappearance.

How was the fate of Patterson discovered?

The location of the incident finally being pinpointed was a breakthrough in the investigation. The horrifying discovery was made of Gary Patterson’s remains. To confirm his identity, dental records were used. Patterson’s death was shocking. According to the medical examiner’s report, she was struck with a blunt object which resulted in his fatal wounding. Patterson had also been struck violently with something blunt such as an instrument.

Who was behind Patterson’s murder?

In September 1999, two years after the tragedy, Sam Urick, and Theodore Young, confessed their horrendous crime. They had killed Gary Patterson. Young was sentenced to 20 years in prison for his crimes. He was released from prison in 2018 after 17 years.

This tragic case is a reminder of the dangers that can befall us, the pain families feel when their loved ones disappear, and the darker side of human nature.


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