With true crime podcasts at the peak of popularity and internet sleuths around every corner, maybe we can help solve a 35-year-old Hudson Valley missing persons case.

Ellenville, NY Missing Persons Case

I'll admit, I listen to true crime and cold case podcasts daily. When I came across a local Dateline story, I knew I had to get more information. While scrolling through Dateline's Facebook account I ran across a story about a teenager who went missing back in 1987.

Joseph David Helt, who is originally from Ellenville, was 17 years old when he went missing. According to a Dateline article that was published in 2021, Joseph was out partying with friends at Mount Cathalia on January 16th, 1987.

Mount Cathalia was a former ski lodge and, at the time, a popular hangout.

What Happened to Joseph David Helt?

Dateline reports that Joseph was last seen after going out for a late night drive after the party. The car he was in somehow got stuck in a snowy ditch by Sam's Point. It's been documented that Joseph walked away from his friends to get help and hasn't been seen since.

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Joseph's Aunt Beth Churchill told Dateline in 2021:

“It’s like he just disappeared into thin air. But a person doesn’t just disappear. Something happened to him. I felt it that night and I still feel it.”

The Charley Project adds that Joseph was last seen wearing a "camouflage-print jacket, a t-shirt, a long-sleeved thermal shirt, a gray hooded sweatshirt and white high-top sneakers." They also shared a digital image with an age progression photo which you can see below. Joseph would be about 53 years old now.

The Charley Project
The Charley Project

If you have any information on Joseph Helt and what may have happened that cold January night in 1987, call the New York State Police at 845-626-2800. Joseph's case number is:#SJS3009202

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