Colton Levi Clark

Dedicated to Colton Clark. Missing from Seminole, OK Since April 20, 2006. Looking for Truth and Justice for Colt.

More College Students Missing Without a Trace – Nicholas Garza & Michael Barbiere

Posted by KindraLore on February 23, 2008

Update 4/7/08 11:06AM

A body has been found matching the description of  Michael Barbiere. There is no sign of foul play and an autopsy has been scheduled for either Monday or Tuesday. Read complete article here.


Update 3/28/08 4:20PM

As the snow on the Middlebury campus grounds melts, the mystery of where Nick Garza is deepens.

Once again, on Thursday a large scale ground search was conducted for the 19 year old college student, or at least clues to his whereabouts. Still, after missing for a month authorities still have no clue where the young man disappeared to.

Read complete article here.


UPDATE 3/14/08 4:48PM

I received an email this morning from a family member of Michael Barbiere about some of the details that have been misconstrued in the media or are just plain false

The following are facts that need to be cleared up in the case of Mike and his disappearance:

  1. Although Mike was drinking the night he went missing, he did NOT have 20 drinks, and in fact was seen in numerous pictures taken and from onward he was drinking WATER.
  2. Mike was wearing an arctic snow-mobile type jacket and hat when he left the bar so he was dressed appropriately for the weather.

There was also mention that within the past few weeks another man (29 year old) has gone missing in Breckenridge as well as a young woman being drugged and raped

I will look into those instances later this eve and possibly update on that. However, I did want to make these facts known, as I know its very important for the families of the missing to have the most accurate information out as possible.

Update 2/28/08 3:41PM

Update on Michael Barbiere. Nick’s mother went to Colorado looking for clues and information on what happened to her son. Police suspended the search for Barbiere after finding no evidence of his whereabouts. During the search, 58 searchers and three dogs found no clues as to where he went.

There is currently a $10,000 reward for the missing man. More here.


Update 2/27/08 10:38PM

An update on this case for Nick Garza. Texas EquuSearch will be aiding in the search for Nicholas Garza and going to Vermont. According to a family member, their arrival has been hampered by the weather. I will update when there is more information available.

There is also a $20,000 reward for information leading to Nick’s whereabouts. Please go to for more information.

See video below regarding Nick Garza’s disappearance.


Original Blog

Is it just me or does anyone else start to see a pattern here? Is it far-fetched or just coincidence that young college age men are disappearing never to be found again?

As I blogged in the Brian Shaffer case and again with Kyle Fleischmann and Justin Gaines. Again with Joshua Szostak, all of these guys are young college students, missing after leaving a party or a bar. Matthew Wilson is another one that vanished recently and the only one that was not reported leaving a bar, party or social event. Where are they going?

Nick Garza

On February 5th Nicholas Garza was last seen around 11:30PM after a social gathering at Middlebury College in Vermont. He was last seen leaving Allen Hall where his dorm room was not wearing a winter coat, his coat later to be found in his room. Reports state he only spent a half and hour at the nearby dorm and was not drinking alcohol. Cell phone records indicate that Nick called a friend shortly after leaving the social gathering but that the friend did not pick up. His cell phone has not been used since.With lots of snow and temperatures dipping into the single digits, it was doubtful he would have been out in the elements for long without a winter jacket. His possessions such as his laptop and ipod remained in his dorm room.

According to reports, Natalie Garza of Albuquerque, N.M., and Nicholas’ mother had not heard from him since February 5th. With the college’s winter break into full swing, being from January 31st to February 10th, Nicholas was not reported missing until a full five days later as it was thought that Nicholas may of left campus for break. Natalie Garza notified campus security Sunday, February 10th when she had not heard from her son in a full week.

Nick was described by family and friends as a good student, highly motivated, a non-partier, a kid who spoke with his mother nearly every day, and a college freshman with a lot of friends.

“He is a socially well-adapted, level-headed child who has a lot to give to this world and really wanted to come here to learn,” his mother, Natalie Garza, said on Wednesday.

Nothing about Nick Garza’s character suggests he would ever run away or hitch a ride with a stranger. No history of mental illness or drug and alcohol problems. No reason to disappear.

“We have found nothing on the background we’ve done on him through family or other students or former acquaintances that anyone had any issues at all. He seemed to be a fairly normal student,” said Middlebury Police Chief Tom Hanley.

Search crews combed the 350-acre campus but found no sign of Nick Garza.

Police have continued to search snow piles in a number of areas on the campus, looking for Garza or any evidence that might lead to his recovery, Middlebury Police Officer Vegar Boe said.

“Because of all the snow that’s been plowed, those piles are being carefully taken apart,” he said Sunday.

On February 19th over 200 students, faculty and members of the community held a vigil for the freshman college student. Attendees wrote message to the Garza family and lit candles in front of the Mead Chapel.

There have been no leads as to where the 19-year-old has gone.

Michael Barbiere

Alphonse “Michael” Barbiere, 23, has been missing since early Friday, February 8th when friends said he left a bar in blizzard conditions around 1:30AM after having at least 20 drinks at a martini bar in Breckenridge, Colo . Barbiere, who is from New Jersey, was vacationing with friends.

Although more than 2000 miles apart, like Nick Garza, Mike Barbiere left late at night in the snowy conditions without a winter coat. Since Mike’s disappearance many have come forward from the bar he was last seen. None are considered suspects.

Search and rescue teams from as far away as Fort Collins looked all over the Breckenridge area have searched for the 23-year-old man, but found no signs of Michael Barbiere. According to reports I have read, police have written Mike off as being drunk and succumbing to the elements.

Barbiere’s older brother, Bob, said his family is offering $10,000 to anyone with information on his whereabouts.

There have been no signs or leads as to where any of these young men have gone.

Also, while I’m comparing the cases, is it me or do these four guys (Kyle Fleischmann, Justin Gaines, Michael Barbiere and Brian Shaffer) not bare a striking resemblance to each other?

Missing Men

*2/25/08 11:23PM

Normally I put updates at the top of my blogs, but I feel it flows better with this story here. One thing that just dawned on me is this: Justin Gaines was last seen at Wild Bill’s in Duluth, GA on Thursday night, November 1st. (Technically Friday morning at 2:00AM). Kyle Fleischmann disappeared from Buckhead Saloon in Charlotte, NC in the early morning hours of Friday morning at 2:15AM (was at the club also on a Thursday night) on 11/9/07.

Michael Barbiere went missing EARLY Friday morning around 1:30AM. Justin Gaines went missing EARLY Friday (or for those of us that haven’t gone to bed still Thursday, Kyle – same thing. All of them on Thursday night/early Friday morning. All of them the first week of the month.

Brian Shaffer disappeared Friday night (or early Saturday morning – last seen at 1:15AM) on 3/31/06 OR 4/01/06 if you want to get technical (as far as it being the early morning). Also the first week of the month.

In other words, 3 of these guys went missing on the first Thursday night, all technically Friday morning of the month between 1:30 and 2:15AM. One of them was on a Friday night technically Saturday morning (still the first week of the month) at 1:15AM.

Links and Articles:
Two Missing Men Are Likely Buried in Snow
College holds vigil for student
8 Women Come Forward; Still No Clues To Missing Man


16 Responses to “More College Students Missing Without a Trace – Nicholas Garza & Michael Barbiere”

  1. This was posted on the “Email KindraLore” page but I wanted to also put it here so everyone is in complete understanding that Nick Garza was NOT at a party the night he disappeared:

    trsierra Says:
    February 28, 2008 at 12:31 am e

    Thank you for posting information about Nick Garza, my nephew.

    Due to the fact that there are so few clues and no leads- there has been a great deal of speculation.
    The one thing that I would like to tell you is that Nick Garza was not leaving a party or a bar.
    The chief of police was reckless in using such language when he first spoke to the press.

    Nick received a text from a friend in a nearby dorm, he and another boy immediately left over to meet them.
    They met four students in that dorm room, there was no alcohol and Nick stayed for 15 minutes.
    That is not a party.

    He had no intention of being out long– as he nipped out without his only winter coat.

    I thank you again for doing everything you can to get Nick’s disappearance in the public eye.

    My kindest regards,
    T. Sierra

  2. One thing that I would like to bring to your attention: the case of Wade Steffey, who was found dead in a Purdue University electrical equipment room after being missing for several months.

    I (along with many others) never bought the story that Wade had “stumbled” into a heavily barricaded electrical room. The young man was studying engineering, at one of the country’s finest engineering schools, on a full scholarship. He certainly knew not to mess around when it came to electricity.

    Wade bore a resemblance to all of these young men, and his last whereabouts was a fraternity party off campus.

    Did I forget to mention that the room where Wade was found had been searched a number of times prior to his “discovery”?

    T. Sierra, I have written about your nephew over on my blog and will encourage the other bloggers I know to do the same. God bless him, and may he come home to you.

  3. Here is a picture of Wade Steffey. I think that the resemblance to the others bears mention.

  4. Laura:

    Thanks for your input and for also blogging about Nick. That is exactly what these cases need. People to keep talking and putting ideas out there.

    I vaguely remember the case you are speaking about. I did not think too much about it after he was found though. Now that you put it in that context, it is certainly strange indeed.


  5. For those interested, here is the story of Wade Steffey from Crime Library.

    I also found an image of the electrical room Wade was found as well as where the location of his body was found. This story does strike me as odd indeed.

  6. Dang. that html tag never works in the comment section.

    Try here for the story about Wade and here for the picture of the electrical room.

  7. Rebecca said

    As a graduate of a small, private liberal arts college on the east coast, I would like to raise attention to the fact that few of these institutions seem to have high resolution cameras on their paths and parking lots- yet these schools are mostly located in the middle of nowhere surrounded by woods and, oftentimes, impoverished communities that are crime-ridden. Middlebury should be taking way more responsibility for allowing this to happen! Why is that not mentioned in any of the articles I read about Nick Garza? This is an outrage on the college’s part.

  8. anon said

    Heartbreaking stories, all of them. As the mother of teenagers, I simply cannot imagine the anguish of these kids’ families.

    I think, however, that lumping all of these cases together and trying to construct a conspiracy theory based on similarities of facial features, weekend disappearances, etc., is a pointless distraction from the culprit behind many, but certainly not all, of
    these horrific cases: binge drinking/alcohol abuse, so rampant on America’s college campuses these days.

    I’m not moralizing. I drank a lot in college. I still drink now, but responsibly. Unfortunately, no matter how hard campuses try to educate students about the dangers of overconsumption, the problem is still widespread and leads to tragedies of many different natures and proportions.

    My son’s HS girlfriend was just released from the hospital after going into a post-party alcoholic coma. This happened to many people I went to college with as well, 20 years ago (and it was a top college. This abuse knows no intellectual boundaries.)

    Which brings me to Wade Steffey’s tragedy. It is clear, from all accounts, that he was a wonderful, kind young man with a brilliant intellect and an equally brilliant future. It is also clear, when reading Wade’s MySpace page (still up) as well as the final report regarding the circumstances surrounding his death, that he was a frequent binge-drinker – and was intoxicated and disoriented on the night he was electrocuted.

    I am in NO WAY trying to tarnish the image of this fine young man. He was simply doing what most American high school and college kids do. Despite his incredible intellect, he probably considered himself ‘immortal’, as most of us do in our youth.

    With deepest respect to the memory of Wade as well as to his surviving family, I hope there is candid recognition that alcohol was a crucial factor in his death. It’s impossible to say what I would do if, god forbid, something like this ever happened to one of my children… but I hope that I would be able to share what a wonderful person he was, that he had succumbed to a dangerous societal epidemic that is well-nigh inescapable among youth today, and that the two are not mutually exclusive – particularly within the context of a campus so heavily dominated by Greek life (as mine was.)

    I personally know people who were on the dedicated team of investigators on this case, and I can assure you that it was a gut-wrenching experience for them to reconstruct what happened to Wade. I can also assure you that their findings were painstakingly accurate, and that the university as well as the fraternity that provided Wade with alcohol are FAR from blameless. I applaud the Steffeys’ efforts to honor the memory of their son. I wish, though, that they would address the dangers of alcohol abuse on college campuses. People would listen-closely. It could save a lot of lives. When kids experience a loss of one of their own (through car accidents, alcohol-related deaths, etc.), it humanizes the otherwise ‘impersonal’ cautions they have received – and certainly makes them think much more profoundly about the consequences of (dare I use the term?)succumbing to peer pressure with respect to these dangers.

    There was no foul play in the Wade Steffey case.

  9. anon said

    I would add that I believe Purdue as well as the fraternity should publicly acknowledge that alcohol is by no means under control at the university among underage students, and that Wade’s easy access to it directly led to the disorientation, impaired judgment and lack of coordination that cost him his life.

  10. Hi Anon. Thank you for the comments. I do respect them and agree with some of what you say. My biggest disagreement lies in the fact that many of the cases that I have mentioned or pointed to are not just a simple case of binge drinking. If that were the case, they would have been found somewhere in a drunken stooper or unfortunately, dead of alcohol poisoning or something alcohol related.

    The fact is though that they have not been found. Many are still missing, despite great efforts to find them.

    Therefore, I am not just simply lumping all these cases together, but instead merely pointing out coincidences between them because there IS, in my opinion something strange taking place here.


  11. Kim said

    Hi Kindra,

    A body was found today in the Hudson River, the body is believed to be that of Joshua Szostak.

  12. Lisa said
    can’t find a way to contact NY detectives
    maybe these are all somehow related?

  13. Hi Lisa. Someone else on another blog I have here about Josh Szostak here.

    I have also blogged about Chris Jenkins along with some other similar cases here.

    I personally find it very strange indeed. Thanks for your insight. As far as LE, actually if you read the last link, you will see LE has totally discounted the fact that any of these cases are connected. However, I am not so convinced.


  14. Jim Feldhaus said

    click on: and page down

  15. Jim:

    What are we looking for on that link? I don’t see anything..

  16. Patrick Dennison said

    Perhaps Jim was referring to the links under the section “Investigator’s Notebook” referring to the Smiley Face Gang…

    Investigator’s Notebook

    PIEHL: Smiley Face: A new controversy

    PIEHL: Smiley Face update: Your suspicions

    Just a guess, as the subject matter would be related.

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