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Police release new information, timeline of Jed Hall’s disappearance

Idaho Falls

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Jed Hall | EastIdahoNews.com file photo

The following is a news release from the Idaho Falls Police Department.

IDAHO FALLS – On Monday, January 22, 2018, shortly before 7 a.m., 16-year-old Matthew “Jed” Hall was reported missing. Through the investigation, Idaho Falls Police Investigators learned that Jed left home between the hours of 2 a.m. and 7 a.m. in a grey 2009 Nissan Versa. Jed took a 9mm handgun and various camping/survival gear. Neither Jed nor his car has been located.

Since his disappearance, Idaho Falls Police Investigators have made significant efforts to locate Jed but those efforts have not yet been successful. Until definitive evidence of his whereabouts and/or well-being are obtained, the Idaho Falls Police Department will continue to search for Jed Hall.

Jed left a note stating that he intended to attempt suicide. While it is possible that he did so, neither Jed’s body or vehicle has been recovered. When Jed left he took various survival and camping gear with him. Investigators believe that Jed may still be alive. This past October marked Jed’s 18th birthday. While he is no longer a juvenile, Jed is still considered a missing person. Whatever the circumstances, IFPD endeavors to find the truth of what happened to Jed Hall and to provide desperately sought answers to his family and loved ones.

RELATED | Surveillance footage released in the disappearance of Jed Hall; $10,000 reward offered for information

The Idaho Falls Police Department has investigated a multitude of tips and possible leads regarding what happened to the teen or, if he is alive, where he may be. Jed’s information has been entered into multiple national databases, including the National Criminal Information Center (NCIC) database. These databases would alert any law enforcement officer or public service agency who ran his information through the database that Jed is a missing person and to contact IFPD. This database check occurs automatically any time a law enforcement agency runs a name, vehicle identification number, or license plate.

IFPD Investigators have reached out to law enforcement, Forest Service, and Fish and Game agencies from jurisdictions around the state and neighboring states to ask that they be on the lookout for Jed and his vehicle.

Investigators have coordinated with dive teams to search various areas of the Snake River that runs through Idaho Falls and Bonneville County searching for Jed or his vehicle. Investigators have traveled to other states and have even investigated tips that Jed may be in other countries. To date, neither Jed nor the car he left in has been located.

Investigators continue to evaluate this case to generate new ideas about the search for Jed Hall. The case is regularly reviewed and additional detectives have been brought into the investigation. IFPD has shared the case with outside specialists in missing children investigations and recently sent the entire case file to an agency with a Cold Case Investigative Unit who agreed to review the investigation at the Hall family’s request. We remain committed to the search for Jed Hall and welcome input and ideas that may assist in that search.

Detectives are seeking additional information about Jed Hall and his disappearance. All members of the public are invited to please share Jed’s photo and this information. While you may not personally have answers, sharing this information may help to put it in front of someone who does and who can provide missing details that lead to answers for Jed’s loved ones.

Anyone who may…

  • Have spoken to or seen Jed or his vehicle on or around or the day of his disappearance
  • Have information about Jed’s current whereabouts,
  • Have information about Jed’s whereabouts in the past two years,
  • Have information about Jed’s wellbeing or what may have happened to him,

Or any other relevant information is asked to please contact the Idaho Falls Police Department. That request applies, even if you believe the information may be insignificant or may have already been reported.

If you have information about Jed Hall, please contact the Idaho Falls Police Department at (208) 529-1200 and ask to speak with a Detective.

Commonly Asked Questions – Spring 2020

Private Investigators & Outside Agency Input

In April of 2020, the Hall family was contacted by a Private Investigator interested in Jed’s disappearance and the Hall family enlisted the P.I.’s services. The Idaho Falls Police Department welcomes the support of legitimate outside entities in the search as we all share the common goal of verifying Jed’s wellbeing and providing the Hall family with answers regarding his disappearance.

To that end, IFPD has previously enlisted agencies that specialize in the search for missing children and has recently invited another law enforcement agency with a specialized Cold Case Investigation Unit to review the case at the Hall family’s request, with the hope that a fresh review may yield new ideas in the search for the missing teen. We remain committed to the search for Jed Hall and welcome input and ideas that will assist in that search. We appreciate the renewed interest in this disappearance and hope that it will lead to locating Jed Hall.

Break-In at American Heritage Charter School

On the morning of January 22nd, 2018, after discovering that Jed was missing, Jed’s mother went to Jed’s school to look for him there where she saw that a window at the school had been broken. An Idaho Falls Police Officer and Bonneville County Sheriff’s Deputy met Jed’s mother at the school. Because American Heritage Charter school is located outside the Idaho Falls city limits, the break-in was originally investigated by the Bonneville County Sheriff’s Office as a separate incident. From watching the security camera footage, it was quickly determined that it was Jed who had broken into the school. Jed arrived in his vehicle shortly before 2:30 a.m., broke a window to gain entry, then left a note, cash, and a necklace in a friend’s locker before leaving the school and driving away in his vehicle.

While at the time the information was not widely discussed with the public, the knowledge of the break-in was immediately available to IFPD and the Hall family, as well as school administrators and a number of Jed’s friends and family.

Drive-by Shooting

Shortly after 8 a.m. on January 22nd, 2018, a person called dispatch to report that a window at their home and their vehicle had sustained damage consistent with gunfire. This likely occurred on the evening of January 21st or in the early morning hours of January 22nd. There were no injuries from this incident. This was investigated as a separate incident from Jed’s disappearance. There were also other similar incidents that occurred in Idaho Falls around the same time period.

A question has been raised about whether Jed may have been involved in this incident. Because both the investigation into Jed’s disappearance and this shooting are open investigations, not all information is available for public release at this time. However, IFPD’s priority in finding Jed Hall is to verify his well-being. There are no criminal charges awaiting Jed Hall from IFPD at this time.

License Plate Searches by Other Law Enforcement Agencies

A question has also been asked regarding Jed’s license plate being run by a Law Enforcement Agency in Stockton, California. When Jed was reported missing, IFPD issued an Attempt to Locate bulletin and entered Jed as a missing juvenile in the National Criminal Information Center (NCIC) database. The NCIC entry was made on January 22, 2018 at 11:47 a.m. The information was also sent to Law Enforcement agencies in the Western United States asking them to be on the lookout for Jed Hall.

On February 8th, 2018, the lead IFPD Detective assigned to Jed’s case ran a search to see if any agencies in the United States had run Jed’s license plate, VIN, or his name. This search showed that someone from the Stockton Police Department in California had run the license plate on January 27th, at approximately 3 p.m.

That day, the IFPD Detective contacted Stockton PD Dispatch who advised that there was no record of a traffic stop, subject stop, or any specific contact with anyone in their agency with that vehicle plate or a person identified as Jed Hall.

On February 12, 2018, the IFPD Detective contacted Stockton PD again and spoke with their records department to verify who had run the license plate. The NCIC database tracks detailed information about all search entries into the database including the date and time of the search, who ran the search, and which computer/terminal the search was run from. This information maintains accountability with sensitive databases and can also be valuable in investigations.

Records show that a specific Stockton PD Detective ran Jed’s license plate on January 27, 2018, at
approximately 3 p.m. from a desktop terminal in the Stockton PD Headquarters building. That it was run from a desktop is significant because it means it is unlikely that the Stockton PD Detective ran the vehicle because she came across it in person during the course of her duties in the Stockton community. After speaking with staff at the Stockton Police Department, it was determined that it was unlikely that the Stockton PD Detective had actually come across the vehicle in the Stockton area and more likely that she had either mistyped another vehicle plate associated with her duties or that she had received the NCIC entry or ATL bulletin as a partner agency located in the Western States and was checking to see if Jed was still actively missing. This is a common practice among law enforcement agencies.

Further, any agency who ran Jed’s name, any listed aliases, vehicle identification number or license plate after it was entered into NCIC on January 22, 2018, at 11:47 a.m. would have been immediately notified by the search results that Jed was considered missing, or that the vehicle was associated with a missing person and to immediately contact the Idaho Falls Police Department. No agencies have contacted IFPD with news of Jed or his vehicle being found in their jurisdictions.

The Idaho Falls Police Department Detective originally assigned as the lead investigator on this case also found that the license plate and/or Jed’s name had been run around the same time by law enforcement officers in Montana, Oregon and other areas. Each of those hits was also followed up on and determined to be similar instances of officers searching the information to see if Jed was still actively missing, and not that Jed had been found in their jurisdiction. Periodic database searches have been conducted by IFPD to determine if Jed’s information has been run by other agencies over the past two and a half years with similar results.

Because of the recent public interest in the license plate search by Stockton PD garnered by the Halls’ Private Investigator, the current lead IFPD Detective assigned to Jed’s case recontacted the Stockton Police Department to verify the circumstances of that license plate search. Those findings were consistent with the information provided in February of 2018.

Current IFPD investigators have reverified that any searches in the NCIC database from the time that Jed disappeared until the present have been thoroughly investigated. These follow up investigations have been consistent with each of the previous investigations, and there have been no records of a person identified as Jed Hall or his vehicle being located in other jurisdictions by law enforcement officers to date.

Jed Hall – Now a Legal Adult

The Idaho Falls Police Department believes that Jed Hall may still be alive. If Jed is still alive, he will have turned 18 years old on October 29, 2019. As a legal adult, Jed would be under no obligation to return to Idaho Falls. That being said, Jed is still considered a missing person and the search for him is ongoing. Assuming that IFPD does locate Jed, it would be for the purpose of verifying his well being and that nothing criminal or nefarious had happened to him since his disappearance.

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