In August 1988, Dan Wilson of Spokane, Washington, had an outburst at work, which was thought to have been related to emotional issues stemming from his recent divorce. He was told to take the rest of the day off, and after leaving work was never seen again.
Days later, Wilson's car was found abandoned on a Montana road in Custer County. Wilson usually drove through Montana on his way to visit relatives in Longmont, Colorado, but he would typically drive through Billings and head south on Interstate 90 through Wyoming. There was no explanation for why he would drive toward Miles City to the east.
Wilson's car keys were missing, although the doors were unlocked and one door was open. None of his belongings were found, save for his bible, which indicated that he may not have been destined for Colorado.
Neighbors noticed that Wilson's sprinklers were running for two days after he disappeared. His family went to his house to look for clues, and found his luggage and a paycheck that hadn't been cashed.
Wilson's mother, Darlene, and two cousins went to Montana to look for leads and to retrieve his car. Later, while driving the car, Darlene and one of the cousins experienced sore throats and eye irritation, which led them to take the car to a mechanic. It was determined that the car had a carbon monoxide leak, which may have contributed to Dan Wilson's emotional instability.
Darlene went back to Montana to search for her son and to post missing person flyers. She learned that a man going by the name Dan Wilson had stayed at a homeless shelter in Billings nearly three months after her son's disappearance. Staff at the shelter were certain they had seen the missing Dan Wilson.
No other leads came about in the case, and Wilson's family suspected foul play. The case was closed in 1997 when Wilson's body was discovered a few miles from where his car was found in 1988. It is believed that he ventured off from his car on foot and died of exposure.
Dan Wilson's disappearance was covered in two episodes of 'Unsolved Mysteries,' in October 1990 and March 1991.