Minnesota Fisherman Missing Since 2004

Nathan Edison Williams was last seen on September 28, 2004  at the University of Minnesota, Morris campus. He was planning to go on a fishing in Northern Minnesota. As far as law enforcement is aware, he was travelling alone. He was 21 years old at the time of his disappearance.

nathaniel williams

Two days later, police found his teal and white 1966 Ford F-150 pickup truck near Kawishiwi Lake in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area, in Lake County, MN.  The truck was low on gas. Several reports indicate the truck was actually stuck, leaving investigators to think he could have tried to walk out of the area or accepted a ride. A search of the surrounding area turned up no sign of Williams or his clothing or any fishing or hunting gear.

1966 Ford F-150

Williams was known to have two fishing rods and a single shot Harington & Richardson 12 gauge shotgun with him on the trip, and a blue comforter. He was not known to have any camping gear or was it believed he purchased any during his trip. None of the items he was known to be carrying have ever been found.

From credit card receipts, law enforcement was able determine he had made stops in Brainerd and Grand Rapids, so this was his likely route:


Nathan Williams was an avid hunter and fisherman. However, he was not from the area, having grown up on the East Coast and in several other countries, as his parents were scientists who worked around the globe. He was known to skip class in favor of fishing or hunting. He also hunted grouse.

Authorities believe Williams either got lost and underestimated the rugged Boundary Waters area conditions, or accepted a ride from someone and possibly met with foul play.


The area where Nathan Williams went missing is very dense. In 2012, a pilot, Michael Bratlie, went missing in the area, somewhere around Silver Bay, and not even his plane, Piper PA-31 Navajohas not been found. Though it is not known exactly where he crashed, it gives you an idea as to how dense the area is and hard to search.

Authorities searched a 6 mile radius around William’s truck, but as a young, healthy person, it’s possible he could have gotten disoriented and walked much farther.

I asked my father, a regular fisherman in the area, his opinion on what happened to Nathan Williams. He disagreed with my assessment, saying that the area is full of fisherman and hunters, and someone would have found him after all of this time. He thinks either he accepted a ride with someone or took off on his own.


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