About this site

Mattie is a sweet little dog who disappeared after the car he was in was stolen in November 2006 from the University City Loop in St. Louis, Missouri. His owners, Tom & Alice Matthews from Michigan, were visiting St. Louis and were window shopping in the Loop at the time. The purpose of this web site is to get Mattie back home where he belongs. If you can volunteer to help find Mattie, or if you have any information, please e-mail whereintheworldismattie@gmail.com.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Names, locations and leads

Hi Everyone,

The search for Mattie is not going well. We have investigated a lot of leads and seen a lot of dogs but I'm afraid that we're coming up empty.

We always seem to get back to a few characters and a small area near 5616 Park Lane (link) and 5960 Harney (link).  We found Mattie's crate and some of our belongings in this area. We've always heard that "Henry" had Mattie at one time. We think that James Holmes is "Henry" and is also known as "Binkie". He's currently in jail on unrelated car theft charges. We've had him interrogated and he denies knowing anything about Mattie or the car theft.

Our car was involved in a high speed chase in Cape Girardeau with Darnell Riley and James Butler being apprehended. We've taiked to both of them and they deny ever seeing a dog. Darnell gave us our initial clue to search the Harney neighborhood. James Butler is still in jail and we're hoping to hear from him when he gets out.

The name Tracy Singleton comes up often. We think that she is related to James Holmes and James Butler. We've had her on the phone a few times and tried to track her down, but she's been very elusive; she moves a lot.

Our hope remains that Mattie was set free in the Park Lane/Harney area as we've been told. We've been told that one of the kids hit him with a golf club and he ran off. Based on sightings, we think he took off towards Jennings and from there he seems to have disappeared.

If anyone knows anything about what happened or knows the people involved we would love to hear from you! In the meantime we'll keep hoping and checking out any leads we can get.

Special note to Darnell Riley, James Butler, and James Holmes:  The criminal part of this case is over and yes we will pay you the reward no questions asked.  Contact us!

Alice and Tom Matthews

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Still searching, 15 months later

An open letter from Tom & Alice Matthews:

Hi Everybody,

Just wanted to let everyone know that we’re still searching for Mattie 15 months later. We still like to think that he was set free and was running around near Park Lane and Harney as we were told by numerous people. We hope he was picked up by someone who doesn’t know that we’re looking for him. Unfortunately we haven’t run into this person yet. We realize that there is always that ugly possibility that he was killed, but we just can’t imagine someone doing that, so we’re going to continue to be a little hopeful.

If anyone knows anything about what happened in the days following his theft, we’d appreciate it if you’d let us know.

If anyone wants to investigate the criminal aspects of this case please contact us for information [names, locations, etc.] at 616-706-6026 or via e-mail. The reward is still good and we hope to have the opportunity to pay it someday.
PLEASE NOTE -- There also exists a smaller reward for his collar or tags that isn’t widely known about except in the immediate neighborhood around Harney.

We’re going to keep tracking down leads as we’ve been doing for the last year. We certainly do appreciate and thank all the people that have helped us in the search and also for the moral support that they’ve given us. The wonderful people we’ve met have been a bright spot in this ordeal. They have really been something!

Thanks again,
Alice and Tom

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Please print and share these flyers

There are three flyers available for download:

1. "Street" flyer
-- appropriate for posting at intersections and such. TO PRINT: Click here and the flyer will open. Right-click and save to your desktop. Then double-click on the icon you just created on your desktop and print it from the program that opens.

2. "Handout" flyer (which includes Mattie's story) -- good to hand-out to people and to ask small businesses to make available for their customers to take home. TO PRINT: Click here and the page with 2 of these flyers will open. Right-click and save to your desktop. Then double-click on the icon you just created on your desktop and print it from the program that opens. Cut the printed pages in half.

3. "Business window" flyer (which includes Mattie's story)
-- good to place in storefront windows where people can get close enough to read all of the print. TO PRINT: Click here and the page will open. Right-click and save to your desktop. Then double-click on the icon you just created on your desktop and print it from the program that opens.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Mattie, Mattie, Mattie -- where are you?

It's been a number of months, but the search continues. The flyers are in the Metro buses in St. Louis. We are following up on possible leads. There are some upcoming animal-friendly events where we'll be aiming to get the word out even wider.

If you can volunteer to help, please don't hesitate to drop Tom & Alice Matthews a note at the e-mail address noted above.

Any help is greatly appreciated.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

The search continues

The search for Mattie continues. Numerous tips and possible sightings have been received and checked out. More than thirty strays, all Mattie look-alikes to various degrees, have found new homes.

The hope is that someone who doesn't know about the search nor the reward has taken Mattie into their home. So, to further help getting the word out, advertisements like the one above will start appearing soon inside Bi-State buses in the St. Louis area.

Special thanks to Lamar Advertising for their assistance and community support in making this happen.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Volunteers (updated 3/11)

Here is the current list of volunteers, along with a rough list of what each volunteer focuses on. In addition to the information below, many of the volunteers post flyers throughout the area. Send an e-mail with updates, additions, or corrections.
  • Mary Anne -- Checks Florissant Animal Control and North County Animal Control.
  • Yvonne -- Coordinates on possible spottings.
  • Wendy
  • Kim -- Checks Macklind Humane Society.
  • Melissa -- Real-estate agent in the area.
  • Lisa -- Checks County Animal Control at Seven Hills, Florissant Animal Control, Animal Control on Hunter.
  • Kathy -- Checks the St. Charles Humane Society.
  • Tina
  • Kelly
  • Tom -- Maintains the web site.
  • Aswini -- New volunteer -- Welcome and thanks Aswini!!
  • Ginny & Robert
  • Carolyn -- Fields calls on possible sightings. Monitors the gmail account. Makes sure the shelters are being checked.
  • Marsha -- Checks Florissant Animal Control and North County Animal Control.
  • Tracy
  • Sharon
  • Vita -- Checks APA.
  • Deborah -- Coordinates on possible spottings. Donates services from her business.
  • Mary -- Checks Maryland Heights Humane Society, Animal Control on Hunter, APA.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Volunteer help on Saturday

Thanks to all of you who came out to help post flyers on Saturday -- Alice, Tom, Mary Anne, Tom, Kathy, Bob, Carolyn, Kelly, Bonnie, Melissa and her three cute daughters, Tom and Aswini (new volunteer). And thanks to Kelly for some nice, bright backing for some of the posters. Have to tell you that while I was posting one of them, a police officer pulled over and told me that they didn't allow flyers on their poles. I apologized and told him that it was a flyer for the "poor dog that was in a car that was stolen last November". He said "I remember the story. Tell you what, let me get out of here and when I'm gone, I won't see what you're doing and won't look at that pole when I come back by here. Just do what you need to do." With that, he took off and I madly went to work getting the tape to stick to that wood pole.

FOX-2 coverage of the search (Mar. 9)

Sunday, March 4, 2007

Current efforts

  • Letters to vets -- assumes someone has Mattie and doesn't know about the reward and will be taking him to a vet sometime
  • Flyers being posted further out (i.e. Hazelwood, airport-area)
  • Billboard to trigger more awareness and radio coverage
  • Bi-state buses -- advertisement posted inside buses

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Thanks for your help

Thank you to Kathy, Ginny, Robert, Bob, Kris, Bonnie, Kelly, Tom and Carolyn for going to the Soulard Pet Parade today to hand out flyers. There were many people who were not familiar with Mattie's story and there were a lot of people who thought he had been found. We spoke with people from all different areas of St. Louis and all were sympathetic and voiced their concern that this could have happened in St. Louis.

I couldn't believe the huge number of people and dogs in the parade -- some wonderful costumes and a very enjoyable time.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Mattie's nose

If you find a dog that fits Mattie's description, here's one detail you can look at closely: Mattie's nose. Mattie's nose is pinkish toward the front, with a "black dot" toward the middle. Keep in mind, though, that color of dog's noses can change some as the climate changes. The picture shown here was taken last August.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

More $25,000 flyers posted on Sat., 1/27

Another wave of the $25,000 flyers... on Saturday, Jan. 27... thanks to the team of 7 volunteers... Robert & Ginny (brand new volunteers -- welcome!), Kathy, Marsha & husband, Carolyn, Tom. Also, apologies to Bob & Kris for the scheduling mix-up but we hope to see you next time!

Volunteers, please feel free to post flyers anytime, of course! Please be sure to e-mail us any information so that he can update the coverage map.

The idea is to keep track of when flyers are going up so that we can all be better-coordinated and so that we know when old flyers need to be replaced. Click on the map to see it larger.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Here are some frequently asked questions that we receive:

Q. Where do you think Mattie is?
A. There have been unconfirmed sightings of him in North St. Louis City and in nearby Jennings, MO. His empty crate (from the car he was in) was found in North St. Louis City. At this point, we speculate that someone has taken him in. We really want to spread the word of the $25,000 reward so that whoever has him will be motivated to return him in exchange for the reward.

Q. Is the $25,000 for real?
A. Yes! Absolutely. Tom & Alice Matthews would rather have Mattie back then spend the $25,000 on a new car. They have the money set up in a St. Louis bank account, ready to be handed to the person who returns Mattie safely to them. You can always call Tom or Alice directly at 616-706-6026 with any detailed questions about this.

Q. Who are the volunteers? Are they doing this for the reward money?
A. The volunteers (listed here) are people from St. Louis and surrounding areas who have become friends of Tom & Alice Matthews. They are not doing this for the reward money -- none of them would accept any of the reward money under any circumstance. Tom & Alice will deliver the reward money directly to whoever out there safely returns Mattie.

Volunteers, if you have other FAQs, send them to us for publishing.

Shelter Update (updated 1/22)

Send an e-mail when you have checked a shelter so that we can include your information below.
  • Jan 5th-Jan 20th: Seven Hills, Florissant AC & Hunter Ave. facilities checked weekly or more by Lisa.
  • Jan. 14- Checked Humane Society in Maryland Heights. (Mary)
  • Jan. 5 - Checked APA on Hanley today for Mattie. She isn't there and they are still watching for her should she come in. (Mary)
  • Jan. 4 - County AC @ Seven Hills and Florissant AC checked by Lisa.
  • Jan. 4 - Checked Humane Society in Maryland Heights today for Mattie. No luck. Her picture is still posted on the board there. (Mary)
  • Dec. 27 - County AC @ Seven Hills and Florissant AC checked by Lisa.
  • Dec. 26 - Maryland Heights Humane Society checked by Carolyn.
  • Dec. 26 - Humane Society on Macklind, APA, and StL County Animal Shelter on Hunter checked by Tom.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Volunteers needed to contact radio stations

Let's get the following radio stations to help. We need three volunteers -- one for each of the radio stations listed below -- to request some additional exposure. If you can take on one of the radio stations, send an e-mail to whereintheworldismattie@gmail.com.
Our request is that the radio stations help their listeners understand that...

1. ...the $25,000 reward is REAL. Tom & Alice will pay the $25,000 to the party who reunites them with Mattie. A local bank account is set up from which the funds will be withdrawn. The person receiving the reward will get the reward in the form of cash if desired.

2. ...there is one and only reason for the high reward: Getting Mattie back. Mattie is family to them. They would rather pay $25,000 to get Mattie back than to buy a new car -- they value Mattie's return as greater than the value they'd get from a new car.

3. ...if requested, the identity of whoever comes forward can and will maintained in confidence by Tom & Alice.

4. ...any information -- even if it's not-so-good news -- is appreciated. Tom & Alice want to find closure in this situation and stop worrying themselves sick about their dog.

Also, Tom and Alice are available for interviews. They have been featured multiple times on NewsChannel 5, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and the Suburban Journals -- with an outpouring of responses from the community.

Saturday, January 6, 2007

Ch. 5 segment on Mattie and $25,000 reward

With the reward for Mattie increased to $25,000, Ch. 5 interviewed Alice Matthews on the 10:00 p.m. news. Also, the print story from Ch. 5's web site:
Michigan Couple Increase Reward For Missing Dog
Created: 1/6/2007 9:08:45 PM
Last updated: 1/7/2007 2:44:19 AM

(KSDK) - There's now a $25,000 reward to help find a Michigan couple's missing dog.

Mattie, a mixed breed, vanished in November when Tom and Alice Matthews' car was stolen from the Delmar Loop.

Police recovered the car. The alleged thieves told the Matthews to search Jennings. That's where they found Mattie's cage. But so far there have been no confirmed sightings of the dog.

The Matthews have returned to the St. Louis area several times searching for the dog. A small group of local volunteers is also keeping the search alive.

Anyone with information about Mattie is asked to contact the Matthews at 616-706-6026.

Sunday, December 31, 2006

"Tell everyone you know about Mattie"

Alice Matthews talked with private detective who specializes in finding lost pets. Based on the situation with Mattie, she advises the following:

  • Mattie could be a few miles away from the area where he's been seen from time-to-time, or he could be a few hundred miles away.
  • Tell everyone you know about him.
  • One of your good neighbors may have adopted or purchased Mattie, under a completely innocent context. Please look in the back yards of your neighbors.
  • If you suspect that a dog in your neighborhood could be the missing Mattie, call Tom & Alice Matthews at 616-706-6026.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Video message from Tom & Alice Matthews

One way volunteers can help -- coordinating with small businesses

For Mattie to be found, we feel it is essential for businesses to join in -- businesses such as beauty shops, churches, pet grooming shops, liquor stores, convenience stores, gas stations, and more. In general, places where people come together and talk! We need volunteers to reach out to such businesses and request that they:

1. Post a "Mattie Reward Flyer" in a prominent location.
2. Provide a stack of "Mattie Reward Leaflets" for customers to take with them.

The volunteer who coordinated things with a given business is then asked to keep in contact with the business to see if any customers offered any reports of seeing Mattie, and to make sure that the business doesn't run out of "Mattie Reward Leaflets."

If you can volunteer in this capacity, send an e-mail to whereintheworldismattie@gmail.com.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

St. Louis Post-Dispatch article (Nov. 29)

From a Nov. 29 St. Louis Post-Dispatch article by Norm Parish:
Just as they have done many times over the last three weeks, Alice and Thomas Matthews of Grand Rapids, Mich., on Tuesday worked the streets and alleys of north St. Louis in search of their missing dog, Mattie.

And the results were same as they have been since Nov. 7, when the Matthewses' car, with Mattie inside, was stolen: No sightings, despite a $3,000 reward.

On Tuesday afternoon in a dusty St. Louis alley, Alice Matthews approached a teenaged male with a flier of Mattie, while her husband stapled a flier to a telephone pole.

"I haven't seen him today," the youth said. "But I saw him two weeks ago."

The Matthewses continued looking.

Their 2001 Buick LeSabre and Mattie were taken Nov. 7 while the Matthewses, on vacation, were window-shopping in the University City Loop.

The car turned up Nov. 9 in Cape Girardeau, Mo., after a police chase. But there was no sign of a dog.

Two St. Louis men, James Butler Jr., 21, and Donnell Riley, 22, have been charged in the case.

Both men deny taking the car and deny knowing anything about a 14-inch-tall, white, fluffy, mixed-breed dog, Cape Girardeau police said.

The couple was tipped to look for their dog on Harney Avenue, just west of Calvary Cemetery in north St. Louis. On Nov. 10, they found their dog's crate near an alley behind a vacant house in the 5900 block of Harney.

The couple left the crate, filled with the dog's towels, at the site, hoping it will return. They say they have received dozens of sightings of the Mattie — mostly in the Jennings and nearby St. Louis area.

The couple looked for their pet for a few days after it went missing and returned to St. Louis area on Thanksgiving to continue the search. The couple will be here until Sunday.

They are getting help from Stray Rescue, the Missouri Humane Society and about a dozen other volunteers.

"I feel for them," said Yvonne Belosi, 41, a nurse who travels nearly an hour from Hillsboro to help with the search. "They lost their car. They lost their dog. I just wanted to help them."

The Matthewses said they will continue looking for Mattie as long as they keep getting leads.

Thomas, 53, is an accountant, and his wife, Alice, 52, is a surgical technician.

"We were absolutely devastated," said Alice Matthews about the loss of their dog of about 12 years. "We just feel helpless. We first got Mattie for our daughter but he is now part of our family. But as long as there is hope we will keep looking with the help of volunteers."

Saturday, November 18, 2006

St. Louis Post-Dispatch article (Nov. 18)

From the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
This is no way to treat our visitors. Earlier this month, while Tom and Alice Matthews were visiting from Michigan, their car was stolen from the University City Loop area. Their 12-year-old dog, Mattie, was inside.

When the thieves were caught a few days later in Cape Girardeau, they said that they had left Mattie and his crate in Jennings. The crate was found, with Mattie's blankets, but there was no sign of Mattie.

The Matthewses had to return to Michigan last weekend, but they asked a family friend to continue the search. The friend contacted Stray Rescue, which is circulating fliers with a $500 reward which will be updated this weekend to a $3,000 reward of which Stray Rescue contributed $2,000.

Anyone who may have seen Mattie or who is willing to print out and distribute flyers is asked to call Stray Rescue at 314-771-6121.