A Year Later: Family Believes John Glasgow's Dead

by Gwen Moritz  on Monday, Jan. 26, 2009 12:00 am  

John Glasgow, front, has now been missing for a year, gathers with his siblings for a family photo.

A year has passed since John Glasgow, chief financial officer of CDI Contractors LLC, vanished – a year in which the most significant development in the case has been his family's painful conclusion that he is probably dead.

"All the brothers and sisters have come around to that point of view," Little Rock lawyer Roger Glasgow told Arkansas Business last week. Roger is the oldest of the eight siblings, John – 45 when he vanished – the youngest.

And John's wife, Melinda? "Same thing," he said. "She and I were the last ones to come around to that point of view."

What's changed, he said, is mainly just the passage of time.

"I think we've all looked at the year anniversary as being a turning point. If he's still gone and we still don't know what happened to him in a year, and we haven't come up with any leads, then we are going to have to accept the likelihood that we may never know what happened."

The little that is known about John Glasgow's mysterious disappearance was known within a matter of hours. His next-door neighbor, Little Rock attorney Brian Rosenthal, out of bed unusually early on Jan. 28, 2008, glanced out his window and saw his next-door neighbor's Volvo SUV driving east on South Lookout toward Point Circle.

Rosenthal couldn't see the driver and couldn't swear that the Volvo was the one that belonged next door, but the Glasgow family doesn't doubt that what Rosenthal saw at about 5:15 a.m. was John leaving his Hillcrest house for the last time.

There are other things the family doubts, like dog handlers who claimed their dogs had picked up Glasgow's scent at Russellville three weeks later. But Rosenthal's chance glimpse matched perfectly with the timing of a routine "ping" from Glasgow's company-provided cell phone, which bounced off an Alltel tower in downtown Little Rock when it was first turned on for the day.

Since the following day, when his car was found parked front-and-center at Mather Lodge in Petit Jean State Park, not one concrete clue to the fate of John Glasgow has been developed – despite police work that his brother acknowledges exceeded what the physical evidence demanded.

"I think they've done an incredible job on this case," Roger Glasgow said last week. "Probably well beyond what you would expect for just a missing hiker, which is basically what it's classified as."

Most of the investigative work has been done by Detective Joe Carter of the Arkansas State Police. A request for an interview with Carter was denied because, spokesman Bill Sadler said, the State Police was actually only assisting the Little Rock Police Department. Terry Hastings, LRPD spokesman, said the local police still have an open case as well, but nothing new has been developed since the first days of the investigation.


Lots of other things have happened since those early days, of course. As Arkansas Business reported on Feb. 28, Glasgow disappeared during a bitter and unusually personal accounting dispute with James Freeman, the chief financial officer of Dillard's Inc., which owned half of CDI. In March, Dillard's restated its net income over the previous four years by a modest $7.1 million and officially blamed the restatement on an accounting "error" by CDI.



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