STEVEN EARL KRAFT, JR.
February 15, 2001
Benton Township, Michigan
Steven Kraft, Jr., also known as “Steve or Stevie” by friends and family, was an 11-year-old who attended Hull Elementary School in Benton Township, MI. He vanished days after he completed a 5-day suspension for defended himself in a fight with another student. He was described as a good student and this suspension was his first due to a “bully”.
On the evening of February 15, 2001 Steve left his Benton Township home to walk his two dogs. When he didn’t return home for dinner his parents decided to wait a little bit longer before going out to search for him. It didn’t take too long before one of the two dogs came home by himself. He appeared excited and jumpy and led the parents to a nearby pond but when dive-teams searched the pond they didn’t find anything of significance. The other dog was found shortly after at a Blue Creek which is a local creek not to far from the pond.
This case is very similar to the disappearance of Erica Baker, a 9-year-old girl who vanished shortly after leaving her aunt’s Kettering, OH home to walk her dog. The dog eventually came home and seemed distressed. The cases are less than two years apart, both received a good amount of National attention and both remain unsolved.
Many reports came in about possible places to search including a pond behind Harbor Haven Ministries in May 2001 and another search in an area of woods near the Southwestern Michigan Regional Airport in November 2002. but no evidence was located and Steven Kraft’s whereabouts remain unknown.
According to reports, Steve lived on a dead-end street in Benton Harbor (Township) with little traffic, and was familiar with the area. He has relatives living near his home and was well-known to the neighbors. His parents have since moved to Hagar Township, Michigan. He has family in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and Lexington, Kentucky.
Date of Birth: January 11, 1989 Hair: Sandy Brown
Place of Birth: Milwaukee, Wisconsin Eyes: Green
Height: 5’2″ (at the time of his disappearance)
Weight: 100 pounds (at the time of his disappearance) Sex: Male
Race: Caucasian Nicknames: Steve and Stevie
Steven was last seen wearing a blue-green Charlotte Hornets basketball team jacket, a tan and white t-shirt, tan pants, and black boots.
The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children has provided the public with an age-progressed photo of what Steven Kraft may look like at age 20.
Anyone with information regarding this cold case is asked to contact one of more of the following agencies –
Benton Township Police Department – 616-926-8221
Federal Bureau of Investigation – 313-965-2323
The Polly Klaas® Foundation – 800-587-4357
America’s Most Wanted 800-CRIME-TV
You can also submit a tip by clicking Steven’s FBI Wanted Poster on the Federal Bureau of Investigations website or contact your nearest FBI Office or local law enforcement agency