Faked deaths

Alma Tolman - faked disappearances from U.S. state parks

Alma Tolman, disappeared May 1st 1998, Located SAFE June 1998, Antelope Island, Utah

Alma Tolman faked disappearance, Antelope Island

Alma Tolman's brother Tom dropped him off on Antelope Island in Utah on Tuesday April 28th, 1998, and planned to pick him up Friday 1st May. When Tom Tolman returned, all he found was Tolman's empty tent and his camping gear. His backpack and canteen were gone, as if he had gone on a day hike. He waited for several hours at the campsite before calling police.

Antelope Island, Utah

Antelope Island, with an area of 42 square miles, is the largest of 10 islands located within the Great Salt Lake, Utah,

Tolman planned to move to Italy on June 20th to get married a few weeks later to an Italian woman and he was trying to get in some camping before he left. He was an Eagle Scout and an experienced outdoorsman, although he had never visited Antelope Island before.

Antelope island, utah

Everything about Alma Tolman's disappearance was out of character. He was one of nine children, and he was an LDS Church missionary and active church member. He didn't have any health problems or suffer from depression and had money in the bank that he'd saved for married life.

Search and rescue teams looked for Alma for about 24 hours, but never found a trace of him. Searchers used a helicopter from the Salt Lake County Sheriff's Office to look from the air, a boat combed the shores of the island and more than 50 rescue workers and two dogs searched the island's terrain on foot.

Tolman may have drowned in the Great Salt Lake, but investigators think that possibility was remote as searchers in the boat would have found him. Crews also looked around the island's cliffs - exploring the possibility that he fell while hiking - but didn't find anything.

Several individuals said they believed they saw a man fitting Tolman's description near the island's gate and at a 7-Eleven in Syracuse, Anderson said. However, none made contact with that person. A cheque belonging to Tolman was cashed at West Valley Wal-Mart a few days later, which led police to believe he is alive and well, but friends and family heard nothing nothing from him.

Investigators were suspicious and later found he engineered the disappearance to escape the upcoming wedding in Italy. The search had cost tens of thousands of dollars in personnel and donated equipment. You would have thought there an easier way to avoid a marriage then to engineer a distressing disappearance!