"...we should pass over all biographies of 'the good and the great,' while we search carefully the slight records of wretches who died in prison, in Bedlam, or upon the gallows."
~Edgar Allan Poe

Monday, May 20, 2024

Missing Money and a Missing Man: Where is Mark Tomich?

"Indianapolis News," March 4, 1994, via Newspapers.com

29-year-old Mark Tomich of Indianapolis, Indiana was one of those people who seemed to have it all.  He was young, healthy, handsome, extremely intelligent, had plenty of money in the bank, and had a well-paying job as an organic chemist at the pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly.  He was considered the perfect employee: organized, reliable, and talented.  Friends saw him as a “down to earth” sort with no vices.  The unmarried Tomich had no known serious romantic relationship.  He lived with his brother Steven, who was not only his sibling, but his best friend.  Mark seemed perfectly happy, and from all outward appearances, had every reason to be.

The morning of March 5, 1992, started off as usual.  Mark took a shower, ate breakfast, and at around 6:30 a.m. set off for work, in his usual good spirits.  He always left early for his job, in order to get his favorite parking space for his treasured white 1990 BMW.  He liked to park the car in a more out-of-the-way spot where it would be less likely to be scratched or dinged.

The first indication that something was wrong came at 8 a.m.  Mark’s boss called Steven, asking why Mark had not shown up for work.  When evening came without Mark returning home, Steven called a friend of his, an Indianapolis State Police trooper named Michael Snyder, to ask what he should do.  When Snyder went to Eli Lilly to investigate, he found Mark’s BMW in the parking lot, but not in its usual spot.  The car was locked, and nothing appeared to be missing from it.  This discovery caused Steven to file a missing person report.

This was one of those cases where law enforcement had virtually nothing to work with.  No one who knew Mark could provide any reason why he would want to abandon his congenial and comfortable life.  They certainly couldn’t imagine why anyone would want to harm him.  He was a likable man with no enemies.  A police detective said that as far as anyone could tell, Mark was “just a normal guy,” with “no skeletons in his closet.”  The one possible clue to his disappearance was the fact that, several weeks before he vanished, Mark withdrew $7,000 from his savings account.  At first, police suspected he had used the money to “start a new life,” but they abandoned that theory when it was learned that he had an even larger amount left in the account.  No one was able to learn what he did with the cash.

To date, that is all we know about the vanishing of Mark Tomich.  Police were unable to find any link between his unusual withdrawal of money and his disappearance, but there almost has to have been some connection.  Under normal circumstances, people do not take a large sum out of the bank without there being some discernable use for it.  Apparently, even his brother Steven was unaware that Mark had withdrawn money.  Perhaps I’m overlooking something, but I can think of only one obvious reason why someone would secretly take a sizable amount of cash from their bank account: blackmail.  Did someone have some kind of hidden information about Mark--not necessarily anything criminal, just something Tomich would prefer the world not know about?  And did this “someone,” knowing that Mark had a lot of money in the bank, seek to make a financial profit out of what they knew?  If this “someone” demanded--as blackmailers inevitably do--a second payment, did Mark refuse, leading to…something bad happening?

This is all pure speculation, of course.  Unfortunately, in the case of Mark Tomich, speculation is all we have.


  1. A number of missing-persons stories seem to end without any trace of the body - either alive or dead - being found, and that is usually the biggest puzzle to me. A dead body often surfaces, literally or otherwise, in some way. It can't be easy to discard one secretly. It's easier, I should think, for a living person to keep himself hidden - but not for long on $7000. Another sad, mysterious case.

  2. Speculation is often all that is had in cases like this

  3. From blackmail angle, did anyone knew or suspected Tom was gay?

    1. I found an online discussion of this disappearance, where someone alleged that Mark was gay, and his family disapproved of it. This was just some anonymous person on the internet, so who knows if they were speaking the truth or not. However, I have to admit that possibility had already occurred to me. I have no idea if the police investigated that angle.

    2. That was the first thing I thought of as well


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