Michigan State University’s First Black Drum Major Henry Louis Baltimore Jr. Still Missing After 49 Years

Henry Louis Baltimore Jr. (NamUs and The State News)

Henry Louis Baltimore Jr. disappeared 49 years ago, just days before he was scheduled to testify against a man who robbed him at gunpoint.

Baltimore was an honor student at Michigan State University and one of the band’s first known Black drum majors. He was robbed at gunpoint in his apartment on March 3, 1973.

Baltimore filed a report with police 10 days after the robbery and named Roy L. Davis, 22, of Flint as one of two men who robbed him. Davis was charged with armed robbery and was arrested in Flint within a month of the robbery, police said.

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Police said Davis was out on bond and stopped by Baltimore’s apartment before the arraignment, possibly threatening Baltimore. Ingham County Sheriff Scott Wriggelsworth said in a documentary that he believes Baltimore was scared to testify.

“(Baltimore’s roommate Paul) Lott said that the stolen goods had been returned to Baltimore in return for a promise that Baltimore would not testify at Davis’ preliminary exam, which would then have caused the case against Davis to be dismissed,” the State News reported.

The State News reported on June 20, 1973, that Baltimore did not appear for that preliminary exam in early May and a bench warrant was issued for his arrest. He was fined $50 for failing to appear. The warrant forced him to testify.

Baltimore testified at a new preliminary exam on May 24, 1973. An arraignment was set for June 1, 1973 but Baltimore disappeared before he could testify. Wriggelsworth said phone calls were made to Baltimore’s apartment, threatening him during this time.

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SOURCE: ClickOnDetroit, Kayla Clarke

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