Donald Westfall Jr. was reported missing in June of 2018 and the circumstances surrounding his disappearance remain a mystery. He was last seen in Warrick County and was captured on surveillance video at a convenience store, but what happened after he left is question Indiana State Police investigators are still trying to answer.
When Westfall was reported missing his family knew something was gravely wrong. His case is now labeled “missing under suspicious circumstances” but Westfall’s family says his disappearance likely has to do with the company he kept.
Cassi Meyer, Westfall’s cousin, says, “We know that on June 26th, 2018 Donnie was at the Circle K in Boonville, Indiana.”
A father of four on the road to recovery goes missing. “He was spotted on surveillance video that day it was in the evening there were other individuals with him and they were seen leaving there heading east toward spencer from that point we’re not really sure where he went or what took place,” says Meyer.
The next morning, a man walking his dog one county over in Chrisney County found Westfall’s abandon van.
“The keys were in the ignition, the battery was stripped, there was a cell phone found in the van,” says Meyer. But it was a burner phone holding little information. And Westfall’s van which could have held clues, in this case, was never examined rather a company was called to come tow it away.
“I think the van is crucial because had the van been put in impound a lot of our answers were on that,” says Meyer.
Criminology experts say the first 72 hours in a missing persons case are crucial. Initially, Westfall’s daughter reported him missing.
Spencer County Sheriff’s Office took the report but did little to investigate according to family. “Spencer County assumed he was a runaway addict who didn’t want to be found they posted it on Facebook,” says Meyer.
The 40-year-old did have a history of addiction and his drug of choice was meth. But Westfall was trying to deal with his demons getting out of a recovery center days before his disappearance.
“Anytime he needed something family is where he came he didn’t run and hide, you know there would be a couple days where we would go and maybe not see him but someone would always talk to him and with this, there was no communication at all, there were no sightings or communication,” says Meyer.
The silence brought a sinister feeling the kind where you know something isn’t right. A handful of people were seen on surveillance with Westfall at the Circle K in Boonville, but what happened after they left and who were involved are pieces to a puzzle police have been working on for more than a year.
Investigators are missing a huge piece of evidence one that could tell a story all on its own. “I think that is where all of our answers lay is wherever he is and without his body there cannot be closure but there can also not be justice,” says Meyer.
Westfall’s family has accepted what’s likely inevitable after not seeing or hearing from their loved one since last summer.
“We believe 100 percent that he was murdered in a different spot from where he is currently things have led us to believe that we don’t have any confirmation from state police in regards to that that is solely our opinion but I don’t think where he was murdered is where he is now,” says Meyer.
The family believes whoever Westfall was last seen with lured him to the gas station to rob him knowing he had meth on him at the time. “I don’t think that they committed a cold-blooded murder I truly don’t. I think that whatever they did went wrong and they felt they had no way out other than to kill him. Did they commit murder? Absolutely they committed murder, but it wasn’t premeditated I don’t think that’s what they set out to do from the very beginning but unfortunately, that’s how it ended,” says Meyer.
The people Westfall was last seen with have all been questioned. Multiple polygraph tests were failed. For Westfall’s family the what-if’s keep them up wondering if they’ll ever get closure and justice.
Meyer runs Westfall’s missing person Facebook page. She’s organized searches, walked fields with people who also want to help find him.
Ever since her cousin went missing, Meyer has made it her mission to bring Westfall home. “I don’t want a cold case and I don’t want him to never be found. I want our family to know where he’s at. The thought of its 19 degrees outside, it’s raining it’s snowing why are you leaving him out there?”
There is a $5,000 reward for any information that would lead to an arrest and conviction in this case. Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Westfall can contact ISP.