Johnny Gosch's house.
Place of Interest in West Des Moines, Iowa, United States.
This is the house where Johnny Gosch was living when he went missing.
It is situated at 1004 45th Street in West Des Moines, Iowa.
On the morning of September 5th, 1982, the 12-year-old paperboy left his home on this small cul-de-sac to deliver newspapers.
After cutting through a neighbor's yard, he walked to the corner of Ashworth Road and 42nd Street, where he picked up the stack of newspapers that he was supposed to deliver that day.
A few hours later, a neighbor called his father, John Gosch, and complained that he hadn't received his morning newspaper.
After receiving this call, John walked around the block to try and find his son. Not long after, he found Johnny's wagon—a small red-colored pull-along wagon that his son used to tow his stack of newspapers.
The wagon was left abandoned on the corner of Marcourt Lane and 42nd Street, which was just one block east of the Gosch family home. Because it was still full, it quickly became obvious that the 12-year-old had not delivered any of his papers.
Although Johnny's father was concerned about this discovery, he didn't feel that it warranted an immediate phone call to the police. Instead of calling 911, he decided to take the wagon and complete Johnny's route by himself.
After spending 45 minutes delivering the papers and looking out for his son, John finally decided to alert the authorities.
He knew that this was extremely out-of-character for Johnny, as he was a responsible young boy who always completed his work on time.
Initially, the police believed that he might have been a runaway. However, this changed after witnesses reported that a stocky man in a blue car had been driving around the area at the time.
According to these witnesses, the man in question approached Johnny Gosch on two occasions and asked him for directions.
Another witness claimed that they saw a silver Ford Fairmont parked near the corner where Johnny's wagon was found.
Despite these reports, the investigation into his disappearance revealed little evidence, and no trace of the 12-year-old was ever found.
Although the authorities believe that he was kidnapped, no arrests have been made.
To this day, he remains listed as a missing person.
Where did Johnny Gosch live?
Below, you will find the address and the GPS coordinates for this location.
The latitude and longitude coordinates for the house are:
To view directions on how to get there, you can use the Google Maps shortcut below:
The full address for this location is:
1004 45th Street
West Des Moines
The house is at the end of a small cul-de-sac that is accessible via 42nd Street and Marcourt Lane. It lies to the south of the John MacVicar Freeway. It is just around the corner from the Valley United Methodist Church.
Details about the general area.
West Des Moines is situated in the Des Moines metropolitan area in Iowa.
Private property warning.
This is a private property. It is not a public place. Therefore, you should be respectful and not step foot on the property without permission.
Photos of the house and other related images.
This aerial map highlights the location where each event occurred.
That morning, Johnny Gosch left his house, cut through his neighbor's yard, and walked to the paper drop, which was on the corner of Ashworth Road and 42nd Street. Once there, he chatted with another paperboy called Mike.
During the investigation, it was revealed that a stocky man in a blue car had been seen driving around the area at the time. According to Mike, this man approached Johnny Gosch near the paper drop and asked him where 86th Street was.
After being given directions, the man drove away.
When Johnny reached the corner of Ashworth and 42nd, he spoke with Mike.
As the young boys were chatting and loading up their wagons, the stranger in the blue car returned and started asking them for directions.
While Johnny was talking to the man, a neighbor named John Rossi arrived at the corner to pick up bundles of newspapers for his two sons.
When Johnny spotted Rossi, he asked him if he could speak to the man in the blue car and give him directions to 86th Street. Because he had already talked to him twice, it is likely that he felt as if he was getting nowhere.
At that point, Rossi started speaking to the man. Meanwhile, Johnny grabbed his wagon and headed north along 42nd Street (in the direction of the red arrow).
After Rossi gave the man directions, he noticed that he seemed somewhat agitated. Moments later, the man turned his interior lights on three times and then sped off.
The man reportedly drove east along Ashworth Road before turning left onto 39th Street.
According to Rossi, the man seemed high. He was unshaven, with black hair and beady eyes.
Coordinates: 41.584715, -93.761349
According to Rossi, the man in the car drove east along Ashworth Road before turning left onto 39th Street (the blue route).
Meanwhile, Johnny Gosch was walking north along 42nd street (the yellow route).
If this man did abduct the 12-year-old, then it means that he circled around the block.
Marcourt Lane and 42nd Street.
Johnny's red wagon was found abandoned on the corner of Marcourt Lane and 42nd Street.
The paperboy often left the wagon here while he was delivering papers to a nearby cul-de-sac called Francrest Circle.
Notably, there were no signs of a struggle.
Coordinates: 41.586047, -93.761365
As you can see, Francrest Circle was just 280 feet north of the corner of Marcourt Lane and 42nd Street (where the wagon was found).
According to one witness report, a tall man approached Johnny from behind while he was walking towards the corner of Marcourt.
Another neighbor stated that they saw a silver Ford Fairmont parked on the corner where the wagon was abandoned. Although they couldn't see Johnny, they did hear a car door slam shut shortly afterwards.
Unfortunately, witnesses can be unreliable, especially when they are recalling events that didn't seem important to them at the time. As a result, the details can get blurred and the timeline can become distorted.
In this case, we have two different cars and an unidentified man who reportedly followed Johnny up 42nd Street. To confuse matters even more, the paperboy who saw this "tall man" was unsure if it was the same person who was driving the blue car or not.
Notably, only one witness reported seeing the Ford Fairmont. Furthermore, they did not see what the driver looked like.
Sadly, the only thing that seems 100% certain in this case is that Johnny Gosch went missing shortly after he left his house on 45th Street.
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