Keith Dean Fleming .jpg

Thirteen-year-old Keith was last seen while on his way home from his girlfriend's house in Cocoa Beach, Florida on April 28, 1977.

His parents had dropped him off at the girlfriend's residence after school and he was supposed to be back home for dinner.

Keith left the residence with his girlfriend and they rode on her bicycle to the end of Osceola Street at State Road A1A. He got off and said that he was going to hitchhike the rest of the way home (which was a common practice by Cocoa Beach residents at the time).

When she found out he was going to hitchhike, the mother of Keith's girlfriend went back out to get Keith so she could take him home herself, but by the time she arrived at the spot where his girlfriend had left him, Keith was gone. He never arrived home and has never been seen or heard from again.

John Rodney McRae is the prime and only suspect in Keith's case; he murdered and dismembered an 8-year-old Michigan boy in the 1950s, when he was only 16 years old and served twenty years in prison for the crime.

From 1976 to 1980, McRae worked as a guard at the Brevard Correctional Institution in Florida; the institution houses mostly teenagers.

While McRae was working there, three local boys disappeared; one of them was a 20-year-old inmate, Charles Collingwood, who escaped from the prison shortly after allegations were made that he had an inappropriate relationship with McRae.

McRae is considered a suspect in that case, and also in the 1979 disappearance of 12-year-old Kipling Hess, an acquaintance of McRae; neither of the boys were ever found.

Police say Keith's disappearance fits the profile of McRae's crimes and McRae himself admitted that he liked to watch young boys at Cocoa Beach; Keith frequently surfed at that location.

McRae was convicted of the 1987 murder of a 14-year-old boy, Randy Ray Laufer, but his conviction was later overturned on appeal, but he was convicted again in May 2005 and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Two weeks later, McRae was found deceased in his cell due to intestinal ulcers and gastrointestinal bleeding; he was 70 years old and wheelchair-bound at the time of the retrial.

Investigators strongly believe that McRae committed more murders than he was convicted of, including the murders of Kipling, Keith and Collingwood.

They even offered him immunity from prosecution if he would reveal where the boys' bodies were, but he always maintained his innocence. However, McRae's wife stated that he had admitted the Hess and Collingwood murders to her.

At the time of his disappearance, Keith enjoyed rock music, biking & surfing and frequently visited the Cocoa Beach Pier. He is the youngest of three sons.

He attended Roosevelt Middle School and was also going to counseling at Alternatives, a drug therapy center that his parents made him go to after they caught him with marijuana.

Keith's mother and brothers still live in the Cocoa Beach area and are still looking for him; his father has since died.

Some have criticized the investigation into Keith's disappearance, saying that the police were lax in following up leads and conducted only a perfunctory search for him. The girl who last saw him was interviewed only once in 1993.

As of 2018, Keith's case remains unsolved.

Keith is described as a Caucasian male with blonde hair (which had been trimmed prior to his disappearance) & blue eyes, weighed 90 pounds and had a height of 5'0. His left leg was previously fractured and he wore a partial upper front plate at the time of his disappearance because his front teeth had been lost in an accident.

He was last seen wearing a t-shirt, jeans, thong sandals and a gold chain with an Italian horn.

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