The Mysterious Disappearance Of Michael Negrete

Here's a series of terrifying thoughts. First, the human mind can only visualize numbers up to a certain point. After that, they're just abstract concepts. In a conversation with io9, mathematician Spencer Greenberg put the number at "approximately one hundred things." Now consider that there are more than seventy million times that many people on the planet. For all of one's perceived individuality, it is entirely true that sometimes people just disappear.

On December 10th, 1999, that's exactly what happened to Michael Negrete, an 18 year old UCLA freshman. Without any warning, sometime between the hours of 4:00 AM and 9:00 AM, on the campus of one of America's most well-known universities, a student simply fell off the radar. He left no trace, and no clue as to his whereabouts. Authorities have classified the disappearance as a homicide, but no evidence of what happened to Negrete has ever surfaced.

Which isn't to say, of course, that there haven't been theories.

Just like that, he's gone

An L.A. Times piece from 2001 describes the events surrounding the vanishing of Michael Negrete in user-friendly terms. Late into the evening on December 9th, Michael was hanging out with his fellow residents of Dykstra Hall. He then went to a friend's room to play video games late into the night. Said friend relayed that the session ended around 4 in the morning. Five hours later, Negrete's clothes, shoes, and wallet were found left in his room, but Negrete himself was nowhere to be found.

Michael Negrete didn't have a vehicle with him at school. Nobody saw him leave the building. A suspect, described as being in his mid-thirties and of a heavy build, was spotted roaming the building a little before 5:00 AM, but he's been neither questioned nor identified.

Plenty of people have chimed in with their theories regarding Negrete's ultimate fate. In a Tumblr post, Michael's brother Steve posited that Michael had been experimenting with club drugs, had left the dorm under the influence, and been "picked up by one of those people your mother warns you about." Meanwhile, psychics have been plenty eager to throw their two cents into the mix. The case was even brought up in a book titled The International Trafficking of Human Organs: A Multidisciplinary Perspective. You can probably guess their conclusion. For now, though, the case remains unsolved.