top of page

What cryptic clues have people left behind after they have disappeared?

Why did Neo Babson Maxiums tell his sister “Look under the periodic table” just before he mysteriously disappeared?

Neo was formerly called Charlie Allen Jr. He was a 22-year- old college senior when he went missing from Dartmouth, Massachusetts on October 12, 2007.

Shortly before he disappeared, he legally changed his name to Neo Babson Maxiums.

He had been one of the world’s best players of the online game “half-life.”

-He failed to show up to meet a friend at college to go to a party

-He left cryptic voicemails for his parents.

-He told his sister that he had sent emails to “important people” and that now these people were after him.

-He received treatment for bipolar disorder, but stopped taking his medication. Was this a manic episode? - his parents believe it was Not.

-He broke into a lady’s house after climbing through an open 2nd floor window at 3am. When she confronted him; he said he was looking for his friend (Mason), jumped off the roof without injuring himself, and ran into the woods.

-Shortly before he went missing, his sister told him his Facebook account had disappeared.

-He told his sister to “look under the periodic table of elements for answers.”

-His computer was later found wiped.

Neo Babson Maximus

Charlie Allen Jr. aka Neo Babson Maximus • /r/UnresolvedMysteries

Was he a victim of 'The Smiley Face Killers' ?

The Cryptic Text. The Unexplained Mystery of joey LaBute.

‘The coroner said there was no water found in Joey LaBute's lungs, which could mean he was dead before he went into the river,’ reported Fox28 Columbus, on April 1st, 2016.Franklin County Coroner, Dr. Anahi Ortiz, also said an autopsy found no signs of external injuries.Toxicology results showed only alcohol in his system, although these may not prove conclusive because it appears that his body had been in the water for a significant amount of time when it was found.

His death is now in the hands of the Homicide Unit in Columbus.Joey LaBute had been missing for almost a month. He vanished on March 5th, 2016. He’d been spending the evening with a cousin, Kyle Reigle and his cousin’s wife in the Union Cafe, in the Short North part of Columbus.

He left the table they were sitting at, saying that he was going to the Bar to get a drink. He never came back to the table.When he disappeared, many people in the area were instantly reminded of Brian Shaffer, who also disappeared in the same way, in the same month, but almost ten years ago. He vanished while inside a Club/Bar, just like Joey LaBute did.

He even looked quite like Joey.Though both the CCTV in the Bar Joey was drinking in, and in the Club where Brian was drinking were both scrutinized, neither man was seen leaving. Joey was 26 years old and held down a responsible job at Morgan Stanley. He was a graduate of Ohio State University.

On the night he disappeared, he had parked his car nearby beside some residential apartments called Thruber Gate, and walked with his cousin and cousin’s wife to the Bar. Just after midnight, his cousin Kyle decided they wanted to go home, but he couldn’t find Joey.

They waited for ten minutes or so, then began to text him to find out where he was. Joey didn’t answer the texts and they didn’t hear back from him. He never returned to his table. His female cousin who was also there, called him after none of them could understand where he’d got to.

The strange death of Joey laBute & a link to The Smiley Face Killers?

He answered his phone and he told her he was driving. Perhaps that’s not so strange; maybe he had a disagreement with one of them, maybe he needed some air, or some space.The thing was, after he vanished into thin air, the police found his car still parked in the same spot he’d left it in when they he’d gone to the bar. If he was driving; he wasn’t in his own car. He’d also sent a text message to a member of his family, while also apparently in a car, but the message “didn’t make any sense,” said his cousin.Later, when it became abundantly clear that their cousin had vanished, the text message was released to the media.

All it said was “Jnhstioj.” Nearly a month later, his body was found in a river search. This was after the police got hold of all of the available surveillance footage from the Bar. They went through 12 hours worth of footage, from 14 different cameras inside the Bar. It was not the best quality but, despite scrutinizing every person seen in the recordings, they could not find the moment that Joey left the Bar. They could see people coming and going all night, but they couldn’t spot him leave.

It seemed impossible, but the exact time he left and whether he left on his own, or with anyone else, could not be determined. The police had nothing to go on from this evidence. His family spoke to the media, stressing how out of character it would be for Joey to just get up and leave and not come back. He held down a responsible job, was devoted to his family, and had shown no signs to any of them that there was anything whatsoever in his personal life that could have caused him to take such drastic steps as to walk out of a Bar, leave his life behind and never come back.

He had his whole life in front of him.His family created fliers and along with friends and volunteers, everyone handed them out across town, desperate for any news on where he was. They couldn’t understand his text message, they couldn’t understand why he’d said he was driving, and they couldn’t understand where he was.

In hindsight, though many would not have openly said it, the most logical explanation was that he was in someone’s car and was being taken somewhere against his will. The person, or people who were taking him, most likely told him to answer his phone when it rang, to give them the time to do what they wanted to do to him without arousing any more suspicion.

They probably wanted him to let his family know he was o.k., and yet, just by the fact that he hardly spoke and then sent a strange text message, would surely seem to imply he was being forced to do something; forced to answer the phone and appear as normal as possible to ensure that his family did not immediately call the police. It bought his killer/s time.

One can only imagine the terror that had to be going through his mind at the time, knowing that he could not say what was happening to him, hoping that his captors would free him if he went along with what they told him to do; knowing he had no choice. On the other hand, his mind may not have been functioning at all. The reason he could not text properly, may have been because the drug slipped into his drink or injected into him had kicked in....

When a body was found in the Scioto River, on March 29th, spokesman for the police, Sgt David Sicilian said that it was a male in his 20’s and that he believed it was a suspicious death. “I can’t tell you the extent of that suspiciousness, but we have a male in his ‘20’s and we don’t know why he died. We made a preliminary examination of the body with the coroner and the body has now been taken to the county coroner for autopsy. We are treating it as a suspicious death. My understanding of it is the dive team came out early this morning.”

As part of the special victims’ unit, they were checking into missing persons and they wanted to check the bodies of water. My understanding is that the dive team came out late morning to do a systematic search of this particular body of water. It didn’t seem like the body was too decomposed. It seemed in relatively good condition. I can’t comment on any wounds, but like I said, we believe it’s a suspicious death. We could not make a positive i.d.” He would not be drawn on whether the man’s wallet and i.d. were still on him. The river is just South of Downtown Columbus.”

Theodore Decker, for The Columbus Dispatch reported the next day that there is a “high probability” that he was already dead when he entered the river, and according to the Franklin County Coroner, Anahi Ortiz, it was the body of Joey. The Coroner said, “We cannot determine with 100% accuracy, however it does appear there is a very high probability that he was dead prior to going into the water.”

He was killed elsewhere, and then placed in the water, just like some of the very early cases of men who had disappeared in very similar circumstances; not just Brian Shaffer, but Chris Jenkins, Patrick O’Neal, Todd Geib, and up to 300 other young men over the course of two decades.“There were no external traumatic injuries,” the Coroner said in Joey LaBute’s case. He was not shot, stabbed, or beaten to death then.Was he drowned elsewhere? - No, because there was no water in his lungs.

How else could he have died? The possible answer could be that he was suffocated.When his body was found, the police already suspected it was the missing man because he was still wearing the same clothes he had last been seen in. Although the Detective first said that his body didn’t appear too badly decomposed, the Coroner later said that the condition of his body made immediate identification impossible. ~ How long then was he in the water?

From the coroner’s statement, it would seem that he had been in the water quite a while. Whether he died on the night he was taken, or in one of the following days, we do not yet know. If he did not die on the night he went missing, that implies that he was taken and he was held somewhere, again like some of the early cases.

His half-submerged body was found approximately two miles from the bar, near the boat launch off Whittier Street, and close to the Scioto Audubon Metro Park. However, the police have said that they do not know where his body entered the water. His family had been raising funds to hire a private eye before his body was found. Perhaps they will now be able to use that funding to investigate his death.Joey had received a text message from a man he had gone on a few dates with.

It was earlier in the night, before he disappeared, at around 10.15 p.m. Joey replied to the text, but when this friend sent him several other texts over that night and in the early hours of the next morning, he received no replies from Joey. Many have speculated on the meaning of his last text message, sent at 1.22. a.m.

Could it have been a crucial clue as to what was happening to him? It was sent over an hour after he had disappeared. “Jnhstioj” was all it said. On a facebook page for the local news station, people began to try to work out what he had been trying to say.”

“The text message, "Jnhstioj," looks like Johnson or Johnstown. There is a Johnstown Road in Gahanna, and it runs up to and through the city of Johnstown.”“Johnstown, or Johnston; someone's last name?” Johnstown is 30 minutes from the Bar.”

Another contributor says, “I looked on Google maps, there is a John Street about 3 miles away from Union in Columbus. On maps it looks like it's a big construction sight and pretty isolated, maybe search there.”“My take on the jumbled letters is it looks like an effort at typing Union Station.”“When I use my phone to type the word, it autocorrects to "Kingston." Not sure what phone he has or if autocorrect was enabled or not enabled, but it could mean that.” “It could be a bad swype text; ‘Johnson’ comes up when I swype those letters; although, it may be not a swype at all, because a swype will usually populate something more legible than that.”

“When I type it in, my phone auto-corrects itself. So the chance of it sending those letters put together in that order could be slim unless he meant to do it. You actually have to click on all the letters if you want to send those exact letters. That's a whole separate step to do.”

“If it was hurried, the last 5 letters look like part of a word ending in "stion." Trying to look around the letters he texted with the letters on a standard phone keypad.”“He was trying to text landmarks?”

The thoughts then get darker; “If he was struggling to use the phone and had to be quick about it ...he probably just texted any letters to whatever name his fingers landed on in his contacts. If he was in the car and didn’t want to get caught using his phone. He must have been secretly trying to text.

What if he was texting behind his back, or he was blindfolded.”

“I think it looks like a bad swype or voice-to-text of ‘I'm hostage’.”

One would imagine that now the police know it is him, they will access his phone records, and they will trace the place that his cell phone last ‘pinged.’ It also seems that he was using dating apps on his phone.

The police will certainly be interested in any messages he exchanged leading up to the night he vanished. For the family of this young man, perhaps there is some comfort in the fact that unlike the overwhelming majority of the other 300 cases just like this one, the police this time are at least prepared to accept that something is not right here and are officially treating this case as suspicious.

Of course, the primary factor in this will be because Joey does not appear to have accidentally drowned, which is most often the official cause of death in all the other cases. He did not die in the water; he died before.

Were Joey laBute, or Brian Shaffer victims of a random killer?

Or were they victims of ‘The Smiley Face Killers?’

Disappearance of Brian Shaffer - Wikipedia

Unsolved mystery: 10 years later, Brian Shaffer still missing

OH - JOEY LABUTE: Missing from Columbus, OH - 4 March 2016 - Age 26 *Found Deceased*

Search for Joey LaBute, Jr.

Featured Posts
Recent Posts
Search By Tags
Follow Us
  • Facebook Classic
  • Twitter Classic
  • Google Classic
bottom of page