Cleveland, OH

Ohio Non Profit Leader Takes Interest In Church Of Scientology And Vanishes In California

The Vivid Faces of the Vanished
Michael Darnell Bell JrPhoto byLA Crime Stoppers

Cleveland, Ohio native, Michael Darnell Bell Jr., played football for Michigan University. Eventually, Michael moved from the midwest to Los Angeles, California, where he got involved with the Church of Scientology, the Charley Project reports.

According to his loved ones, Michael was a good-hearted man. They describe him as a giving and outgoing young man who was in the process of starting a non-profit to create group homes for homeless children. In the fall of 2011, he planned to visit his native city of Cleveland, Ohio for an anticipated meeting with other board members of his organization.

According to LA Crime Stoppers, on September 11, 2011, Michael dropped his sister off at the airport in Los Angeles driving a vehicle that belonged to his mother, a blue 2002 Toyota Camry with license plate number BS20VB. He was supposed to join his family in Ohio nine days later.

On September 17, 2011, Michael was seen in Mendota, California at 3:15 am. Two California Highway Patrol officers spotted his vehicle about four hours north of Los Angeles, California, on Interstate 5, near Russell Avenue.

The car ran out of gas, and the California Highway Patrol officers refused to leave him stranded on the interstate, LA Crime Stoppers reports. Michael allegedly told the officer he had just attended a religious service, and he did not appear to be in distress. They gave Michael a ride and dropped him off near Mendota at the Chevron gas station at 46330 West Panoche Road in Panoche, California.

He thanked the officers and was seen walking towards an outside bathroom door of the gas station. That is the last known sighting of Michael.

His family tried to call him repeatedly, but their calls went unanswered, so his mother and sister returned to Los Angeles on September 22, 2011.

When they checked his apartment in Los Angeles, California, there was spoiled food in the microwave, his cell phone was in the apartment, and his personal belongings were still there. They reported Michael missing the same day, September 22, 2011.

His mother's vehicle was later located in the same place Michael left the car when it ran out of gas, but Michael has never been found.

Michael Darnell Bell Jr. is 6'0 and weighed 190 pounds when he vanished. He has the tattoos “Mike” and “Bell” on his arms and the names of his sisters “Ashawnta” and “Shekinah”, on the top of his wrists. If you have any information, please contact the Los Angeles Police Department at 213-996-1800 or Fresno County Sheriff's Office at 559-488-3111.

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