Disappearance of Jeremy Bright

Jeremy Bright, an American teenager born on May 25, 1972, disappeared under mysterious circumstances on August 14, 1986, while attending the Coos County Fair in Myrtle Point, Oregon. Bright, who lived in Grants Pass at the time of his disappearance, had been visiting family in Myrtle Point. On the day of his disappearance, he attended the fair with his younger sister. Although they initially separated during the day, Bright failed to meet her later as planned at the carnival’s ferris wheel. Witnesses reported seeing Bright being forcibly removed from the area by an unknown man, but these sightings were not confirmed.

Initially, local law enforcement suspected foul play, but within a week of his disappearance, reported sightings of Bright in the area led detectives to temporarily classify him as a runaway. Myrtle Point was filled with various theories and rumors about Bright’s disappearance, including speculation that he had overdosed at a party, leading to his body being disposed of by those present.

Another theory suggested he had been sh0t by local men while swimming in the Coquille River, and they attempted to nurse him back to health before burying him in a shallow grave after he succumbed to the wound. Despite conducting searches based on these rumors, law enforcement found no evidence leading to Bright’s discovery.

Terry Lee Steinhoff, a local man who had babysat Bright during his childhood, became a suspect in Bright’s disappearance after being convicted of m*rdering a 32-year-old woman. There were reports that Bright was seen in Steinhoff’s truck the day he disappeared. Steinhoff d*ed in prison in 2007. In August 2011, Bright’s family presumed him d*ad and held a formal memorial service in his memory. As of 2023, Jeremy Doland Bright’s whereabouts remain unknown.



In August 1986, Jeremy Bright, a fourteen-year-old resident of Grants Pass, Oregon, was staying in Myrtle Point with his stepfather and younger sister. Originally from Baltimore, Maryland, Bright had been raised in Myrtle Point. On Wednesday, August 13, Bright attended the Coos County Fair with his friend Johnny Fish. During that day, he used a payphone to call his mother, Diane, and made plans for her to pick him and his 10-year-old sister, S’te, up in Myrtle Point on August 15. Later that same day, Bright met with his stepfather at a tavern owned by his grandmother, where he was given money to attend the fair the next day. This marked the last time he was seen by his stepfather or grandmother.


On Thursday, August 14, Bright attended the fair for the second time, accompanied by his sister, S’te. Around 2 p.m., the siblings separated, with Jeremy intending to reunite with his sister at 5 p.m. near the ferris wheel on the fairgrounds. However, he did not appear as planned. At the time of his disappearance, Jeremy was wearing a black windbreaker jacket, a red tank top, nylon blue shorts, and black Nike shoes in size 13 with red laces.

On the following day, August 15, when Jeremy’s mother arrived at his stepfather’s house in Myrtle Point to pick up Jeremy and S’te, she discovered Jeremy’s wallet, watch, and the keys to their Grants Pass apartment. As Jeremy did not show up that day and couldn’t be located by any family members, his mother contacted the authorities and reported him missing.


Law enforcement initially suspected foul play in Bright’s disappearance. However, on August 23, 1986, one week after he went missing, authorities announced a shift in their suspicions. This change was prompted by alleged sightings of Bright in the days following his disappearance, some reported as late as August 16 or 17. Law enforcement considered the possibility that Bright might have voluntarily left with a traveling carnival.

Contrastingly, prior reports from several individuals, including S’te, suggested that Bright had been “forcibly removed” by a man near the fairgrounds’ ferris wheel between 1:00 and 1:30 p.m.

Various rumors circulated regarding Bright’s disappearance at the time. One theory suggested that Bright, who had a heart murmur, attended a party and consumed a beer laced with an illegal drug, leading to a fatal overdose. An anonymous tip from a prison inmate proposed a different scenario, claiming that Bright had accidentally been shot to death by a group of quarrelsome men while at a local swimming hole with his friends along the Coquille River.

Another version of events suggested that Bright had been sh0t during target practice, and those responsible attempted to nurse him back to health at a remote cabin, but he ultimately succumbed to his wound. The tipster alleged that Bright’s body was buried in the woods in a shallow grave. However, a police search of the specified cabin and its surroundings yielded no evidence.

Cecelia Fish, the sister of Bright’s friend Johnny, informed the police that on the night of Jeremy’s disappearance, she witnessed an unnamed male resident of her apartment building entering covered in blood.

Following Bright’s disappearance, numerous wells in the Myrtle Point area were searched based on an anonymous tip received in mid-August 1986, suggesting that Bright’s body might be located in one of the wells. Despite these efforts, no evidence was found. Another unproductive lead directed law enforcement to “follow a road to a concrete bridge in western Nebraska.” Additionally, investigators followed a tip that led them to a young man named Jeremy Bright, who was reportedly working for a circus company in Florida, a common relocation spot for traveling carnivals and circuses during winter. However, it was determined that this individual was someone else from Colorado who shared the same name.

In August 1988, filming commenced for a segment on Bright’s disappearance for the Unsolved Mysteries series, and the episode aired in January 1989.

Terry Lee Steinhoff is mentioned in connection with Bright’s last known whereabouts. According to some accounts, Bright was last seen in the passenger’s seat of a truck owned by Steinhoff, who had previously babysat Bright. In January 1989, a week after the case was featured on Unsolved Mysteries, Steinhoff was charged in the st*bbing d*ath of 32-year-old Patricia Morris, and police considered him a potential suspect in Bright’s disappearance. Steinhoff passed away in prison in 2007 due to a heroin overdose.

Continue Investigation

According to a 2007 report, Bright’s mother has been residing in Florida since 1998 but returns to Myrtle Point every summer to contribute to search efforts. As of 2017, Jeremy Bright remains missing, and his family presumes him to be deceased. An obituary for Bright’s maternal uncle, who passed away in Pendleton, Oregon in 2010, noted that he was preceded in death by “most probably his oldest nephew, Jeremy Bright, who has been a missing child since August 1986.” In August 2011, the family held a formal memorial service in his memory.

In October 2016, a pond on private property located approximately 25 miles (40 km) from Myrtle Point was searched following a tip suggesting that Bright might have been disposed of there. Unfortunately, the search yielded no results.

This article uses material from the Wikipedia article Jeremy Bright, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License 

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