top of page

Lawrence “Larry” Goodman has been missing from Park Ridge, New Jersey, since January 19, 1979. It was the day after his 16th birthday.

Updated: May 21

## The Disappearance of Lawrence "Larry" Goodman: A 1979 Mystery

### Introduction

On January 19, 1979, a seemingly ordinary teenage boy named Lawrence “Larry” Goodman disappeared without a trace from Park Ridge, New Jersey. The day after celebrating his 16th birthday, Larry informed his family that he was heading to Miami, Florida, to attend the Super Bowl on January 21. What started as an exciting journey to watch a football game turned into a baffling mystery that has haunted his family and the community for decades. This article delves into the events surrounding Larry's disappearance, the investigations that followed, and the enduring impact on those who knew him.

### The Day He Vanished

#### Larry’s Background

Larry Goodman was a typical teenager living in the suburban town of Park Ridge, New Jersey. Known for his friendly demeanor and passion for sports, particularly football, Larry was a well-liked student at Park Ridge High School. His 16th birthday, which he celebrated on January 18, 1979, was a joyous occasion spent with family and friends

#### The Announcement

On the evening of January 19, Larry informed his parents that he planned to travel to Miami, Florida, to attend the Super Bowl on January 21. This announcement was met with surprise and concern. While Larry was known for his adventurous spirit, the idea of him traveling alone across the country was unexpected. Nonetheless, his family believed he was capable of handling himself and agreed to let him go, thinking it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for him.

#### The Last Goodbye

Larry packed a small bag, taking some clothes, a few personal items, and his savings for the trip. He assured his family he would call them upon his arrival in Miami. That was the last time they saw him. With a mix of excitement and trepidation, Larry left his home and was never seen or heard from again.

### The Initial Investigation

#### Missing Person Report

When Larry failed to contact his family as promised, worry quickly turned into panic. On January 21, 1979, the day of the Super Bowl, his parents reported him missing to the Park Ridge Police Department. The initial investigation began with interviews of family members, friends, and anyone who might have seen Larry on the day he left.

#### The Search Begins

Local authorities launched an extensive search, which included canvassing neighborhoods, checking transportation hubs, and distributing missing person flyers. Despite their efforts, there were no immediate leads. Larry seemed to have vanished without a trace.

#### Clues and Leads

Investigators discovered that Larry had purchased a bus ticket to Miami, but it was unclear if he ever boarded the bus. Surveillance footage from the bus terminal was inconclusive, showing a figure that could possibly be Larry, but it was too blurry to confirm. Additionally, no witnesses could definitively place him on the bus.

### Theories and Speculations

#### Runaway or Foul Play?

Early theories about Larry’s disappearance were divided. Some believed he might have run away, seeking adventure and independence. Others feared foul play, suggesting he might have fallen victim to a crime either en route to or after arriving in Miami. The absence of concrete evidence made it difficult to support either theory conclusively.

#### Possible Sightings

Over the years, there were numerous reported sightings of Larry in various locations, both within and outside New Jersey. However, none of these sightings were ever confirmed. Each potential lead brought a glimmer of hope to his family, only to be dashed by the lack of verification.

### The Impact on the Goodman Family

#### A Family’s Agony

The disappearance of Larry Goodman profoundly affected his family. The uncertainty of not knowing what happened to their son and brother created an enduring sense of anguish and helplessness. His parents, in particular, were devastated, spending countless hours reaching out to anyone who might help bring Larry back home.

#### Community Support

The Park Ridge community rallied around the Goodmans, providing emotional and practical support. Fundraisers were held to aid the search efforts, and volunteers helped distribute flyers and canvass potential leads. Despite the community’s best efforts, Larry remained missing, and the case grew colder with each passing year.

### The Cold Case

#### Declining Leads

As the years turned into decades, the number of new leads and tips dwindled. The case of Larry Goodman became one of many unsolved disappearances, buried under the weight of time and lack of evidence. Periodic reviews by law enforcement yielded no new breakthroughs, and the trail remained cold.

#### Technological Advances

With advances in technology, particularly in DNA analysis and digital forensics, there was renewed hope that Larry’s case might be solved. In the early 2000s, the Goodman family submitted DNA samples to national databases in the hope of matching any unidentified remains. Unfortunately, no matches were found.

### The Unanswered Questions

#### Where Did Larry Go?

The most pressing question remains: Where did Larry go after leaving his home on January 19, 1979? The lack of any substantial evidence makes it challenging to piece together his movements after he left Park Ridge. Did he ever make it to Miami, or did something happen to him along the way?

#### The Bus Ticket Mystery

One of the enduring mysteries is the bus ticket Larry purchased. If he did not board the bus, what became of him? If he did, what happened upon his arrival in Miami? The lack of clear answers to these questions continues to baffle investigators and family members alike.

### Theories and Speculations Revisited

#### The Runaway Theory

Some continue to speculate that Larry may have run away voluntarily. Teenage rebellion, the desire for independence, or even the allure of starting a new life could have motivated him. However, those who knew Larry well argue that he had no known reasons to run away and was generally happy with his life in Park Ridge.

#### The Foul Play Theory

The possibility of foul play remains a strong consideration. Larry could have been targeted by criminals during his journey or upon arrival in Miami. The era in which he disappeared was marked by numerous incidents of violence and crime, making this theory plausible.

#### The Super Bowl Angle

Another angle considered was the Super Bowl itself. Large events often attract individuals with ill intentions, and Larry might have encountered such people. However, without evidence of him ever reaching Miami, this theory remains speculative.

### The Legacy of Larry Goodman’s Disappearance

#### Impact on the Community

Larry’s disappearance had a lasting impact on the Park Ridge community. It served as a stark reminder of the potential dangers that can befall even the most seemingly safe environments. The case also highlighted the limitations of law enforcement during that era, particularly in handling missing person cases involving teenagers.

#### Advances in Missing Person Protocols

Larry’s case, along with others from the same period, contributed to changes in how missing person cases are handled. Increased awareness, better training for law enforcement, and the establishment of organizations dedicated to finding missing children and adults have improved the chances of solving such cases today.

### The Goodman Family Today

#### A Family's Enduring Hope

Decades after Larry’s disappearance, his family continues to hold onto hope that they will one day find answers. The pain of not knowing what happened to their loved one remains a constant presence in their lives. They have participated in various initiatives aimed at helping other families of missing persons, using their experience to advocate for better resources and support.

#### Memorials and Remembrances

Over the years, the Goodmans have kept Larry’s memory alive through various memorials and remembrances. Annual gatherings, community events, and personal rituals serve as reminders of the vibrant young man who left for Miami one January day and never returned. These acts of remembrance are both a source of comfort and a means of keeping his case in the public eye.

### Renewed Efforts and Continued Search

#### Modern Investigative Techniques

With the advent of new investigative techniques, there has been a renewed effort to solve cold cases like Larry’s. Advanced DNA technology, data analysis, and the use of social media have opened up new avenues for investigation. The Goodman family remains hopeful that these tools might finally bring answers.

#### Collaboration with Cold Case Units

The Goodman family has collaborated with cold case units and private investigators to keep Larry’s case active. Periodic reviews and re-examinations of the evidence have kept the investigation from becoming completely dormant. The family continues to urge anyone with information to come forward, no matter how insignificant it may seem.

### Conclusion

The disappearance of Lawrence “Larry” Goodman on January 19, 1979, remains one of the most haunting mysteries of Park Ridge, New Jersey. Despite exhaustive searches, numerous investigations, and the passage of over four decades, Larry's fate is still unknown. His family’s unwavering hope and the community’s enduring support stand as testaments to the impact of his disappearance.

Larry’s case serves as a reminder of the fragility of life and the profound effects that unsolved mysteries can have on families and communities. As advances in technology and investigative methods continue to evolve, there remains a glimmer of hope that the mystery of Larry Goodman’s disappearance will one day be solved, providing closure to those who have been waiting for answers for far too long.


### Additional Information

#### Resources for Missing Persons

If you or someone you know has information about Larry Goodman’s disappearance, please contact the Park Ridge Police Department or the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Every piece of information, no matter how small, can make a difference in solving these cases and bringing closure to families.

#### How to Help

- **Report Tips**: If you have any information about Larry Goodman or any other missing person, report it to the authorities.

- **Support Organizations**: Consider supporting organizations that work to find missing persons and support their families.

- **Stay Informed**: Follow updates on missing person cases and share information to help raise awareness.

The story of Larry Goodman is a poignant reminder of the unresolved mysteries that continue to affect lives. By

staying vigilant and supporting efforts to solve these cases, we can help bring justice and peace to those who have suffered unimaginable loss.

31 views0 comments


Rated 0 out of 5 stars.
No ratings yet

Add a rating
bottom of page