Jacob Cabinaw disappeared from Traverse City, Michigan at 7:30 p.m. on March 31, 2010. He dropped a friend off near the volleyball courts at the Open Space, a beachside park, after they played frisbee golf. His friend invited him to go to some bars, but Cabinaw declined, saying he had to go home and study for class. He was driving his silver 2002 Chevrolet Malibu with the Michigan license plate number BKQ 4107; it has minor damage on the front passenger side panel.
Cabinaw apparently never returned to his home in Grawn, Michigan. At 1:00 a.m. on April 1, he called an automated system to confirm he was still taking community college classes. At 2:00 a.m., he used his bank card used to buy gas in Mattawan, Michigan.
Just after midnight on April 2, a police officer in Hollister, Missouri ran Cabinaw’s license plate. A deputy with the Washington County Sheriff’s Department in Arkansas ran the plate three hours later, and noted Cabinaw was asleep in his car, which was parked at the Brentwood Rest Area off U.S. 71 in West Fork.
Later that day, Cabinaw’s debit card was used to buy gasoline in Sweetwater, Texas and his image was captured on a security camera. Sweetwater is over 1,000 miles from Cabinaw’s home. There’s been no trace of him since and his car is also missing. A photo of the car is posted with this case summary.
Cabinaw’s brother is stationed at Fort Hood in Texas, but that is his only known connection to the state. He had insufficient funds in his bank account to pay for his gas purchases, but the transactions went through because he had overdraft coverage. His debit card was never used again. He hasn’t used his cellular phone since he went missing, and he left his phone charger at home.
Because of the gas purchase in Texas, police considered the possibility that Cabinaw had walked out of his life to travel to Texas or Mexico. However, Cabinaw’s family thinks that even if he might have gone to Texas, he would have returned and wouldn’t have abandoned his life in Michigan.
He was a technical science student at Northwestern Michigan College at the time of his disappearance, and a member of the National Guard. He had a job at Dave’s Garage, which he liked, and he owned $20,000 worth of tools. His family stated he doesn’t use drugs and it’s uncharacteristic of him to leave without warning.
Although police believe he left of his own accord, his family is afraid for his safety. Cabinaw is the seventh of ten children in his family, and he has two sons by his ex-wife. His case remains unsolved.