Search on for Jordan's dad Not seen for three weeks

car found stripped in N.C.

August 13, 1993|By Bob Sakamoto and Michael Kates | Bob Sakamoto and Michael Kates,Chicago Tribune

A missing-persons report was filed yesterday on James Jordan, the father of NBA superstar Michael Jordan. Police officials in North Carolina said no one had seen or talked with the elder Jordan in nearly three weeks.

James Jordan's luxury car was found on a rural road near Fayetteville, N.C., on Aug. 5 and it had been stripped. The car was tracked through the Lexus dealership, which then contacted the Jordan family this week. And while there was no sign of blood in the car, police have not ruled out the possibility of foul play.

Union County (N.C.) Sheriff Frank McGuirt said James Jordan's wife, Deloris, told authorities her husband had called the office of a T-shirt plant they own in Rock Hill, S.C., on July 26.

"We don't know if he talked with her or just with someone at the office," McGuirt said. "That was the last time we can determine that anyone had contact with Mr. Jordan."

Police said yesterday they had heard of no ransom demands or death threats regarding James Jordan. They are pursuing various leads in their attempt to determine his whereabouts.

Deloris Jordan filed the missing-persons report. She and her husband have a home in Union County outside Charlotte.

According to Cumberland County Sheriff's police, James Jordan, was last seen leaving a party in Burgaw, N.C., on July 22. Police found his partially stripped red Lexus Aug. 5 near a wooded area off a main Fayetteville road. The back window was smashed out and stereo speakers, four tires and vanity license plates were missing.

Police conducted a search of the rural wooded area Wednesday and yesterday.

Cumberland County Sheriff Department Capt. Art Binder reported yesterday that Jordan told friends at the party he was heading back to Charlotte, from which he would catch a plane for Chicago.

"It is not unusual for Mr. Jordan not to let someone know where he's at for a couple of days, but certainly not for 20-plus days," Binder said.

Michael Jordan and his mother were reported to be vacationing in California, but Deloris arrived home yesterday. The Bulls star was reported en route to North Carolina.

Larry Jordan, Michael's brother, who lives in Charlotte, went to his parents' home in the Charlotte area yesterday.

Friends in Wilmington, N.C., where Michael and his two brothers and sisters were raised, said it wasn't unusual for James to go off by himself without telling anyone. It has happened often enough that at least one family member didn't appear to be overly concerned yesterday.

A phone call to Michael's 33-year-old sister, Delois Chasten, in Philadelphia was screened by a friend who said, "Lois has been getting a lot of phone calls, but she is calm and she's fine. She doesn't want to comment, but she also doesn't act like something bad has happened."

James Jordan left his Charlotte home July 22 to attend the funeral of a friend in Burgaw, in the eastern part of the state. The funeral ended at 3:30 p.m., and Jordan was next seen at the gathering in a Burgaw house. According to the police report, he was seen driving away at midnight, but not toward Fayetteville, which would take him back to Charlotte.

A Wilmington newspaper reported yesterday that Jordan left the gathering about 9:30 p.m., according to local residents, and drove three people to Wilmington. He told these passengers he was headed for Charlotte, the paper reported.

Investigators believe the car was driven about a half-mile into the woods on a fire trail, but aren't certain who was behind the wheel. They believe the car was dumped there and later stripped by someone else. There were no signs of violence or traces of blood inside.

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