Peter John McColl. (Courtesy/McColl family)Peter John McColl. (Courtesy/McColl family)

Peter McColl, age 16, was a talented, intelligent young man and an honors student at Berkeley High School. Nearly 18 years ago, on August 28, 1995, Peter left his family’s house, supposedly (according to what he told his brother) to catch a bus into Berkeley where he planned to visit Cody’s Books, a very famous bookstore on Telegraph Avenue. Either something happened to him on the way to the bookstore, or he never went there at all. He vanished and has never been seen again.

Here’s some interesting information from Peter’s case file on Charley Project.

The driver of the AC Transit bus 43, near the corner of Redwood Road and 35th Street in Berkeley, claims Peter asked him directions to Montclair, California on the day of his disappearance. He appeared to have a prearranged meeting with an unidentified teenaged boy whom the bus driver also saw. The boy was 16 to 18 years old with blond hair, well-dressed, accented speech. The boy has never been identified and the bus driver’s sighting about Peter has not been confirmed. A cab driver claims he drove a young man fitting Peter’s description, and a teenaged girl with red-streaked hair, to the airport to catch a Southwest Airlines flight shortly after Peter disappeared. This sighting has not been confirmed either and inquiries at the airline have not turned up any relevant information.

Did Peter catch a bus? Or a Southwest Airlines flight? His alleged companions–the well-dressed blond boy and the girl with red hair–did they exist? Why haven’t they come forward?

Another strange, fascinating and sad case.