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Kipling Hess

Twelve-year-old Kipling was last seen on his way to school in Merritt Island, Florida on the morning of March 27, 1979. He never arrived for classes that day and has never been heard from again; he left behind a note at home that simply said, "Goodbye, Mom and Dad."

John Rodney McRae is the prime and only suspect in Kipling's case; he and his son met Kipling at a church carnival a few days prior to his disappearance, and McRae later assisted in the search for him.

Several years later, police also found a missing person flyer for Kipling taped inside McRae's locker at his workplace.

McRae 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, he 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 1977 disappearance of 13-year-old Keith Fleming; none of the boys were ever found.

McRae was convicted of the 1987 murder of a 14-year-old boy, Randy Ray Laufer. 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 McRae always maintained his innocence. However, McRae's wife stated that he had admitted the Hess and Collingwood murders to her.

Kipling was a student at Edgewood Middle School in 1979; he was involved in church activities, the Boy Scouts and took piano lessons. As of 2018, his case remains unsolved.

Kipling is described as a Caucasian male with brown hair & brown eyes, weighs 90 pounds and is 5'4. His nickname is Kip. It's unknown what he was wearing when he went missing.

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