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Trying to solve a mystery

Published Oct. 8, 2005

A Tampa family will appear on Unsolved Mysteries tonight as part of a three-year effort to find their missing son.

At midnight in May, 1991, Gordon Page Jr., then 28, disappeared from a Grand Rapids, Mich. group home for autistic adults. Since then, Page's family has followed hundreds of leads from Jackson, Miss., to Arizona to Lansing Mich., all to no avail.

Along the way, they've used every imaginable media outlet. Page's face has appeared in scores of newspapers, magazines, and on television programs like America's Most Wanted and the Montel Williams Show. This time, it's Unsolved Mysteries (WFLA-8, 8 p.m.), which will celebrate its 200th solved case next month.

"Somebody knows where he is," said Gordon Page, his father. "We believe this national television show is our best chance, other than God almighty."

The program will feature Page, his wife, Linda, and their sons Lance and Todd. Psychologists and detectives will explain facets of the case, and actors will reenact the scenes leading up to his mysterious disappearance.

In seven years, the NBC program has aired close to 800 segments, 88 of which involve missing people. Each segment usually nets between 100 and 300 calls, which the show forwards to the families and law enforcement officials, said Tim Rogan, coordinating producer.

Though the program has had more success tracking down fugitives, Rogan said that 6 percent of the missing person cases are solved.

A mild autistic, Page has been compared to the character Dustin Hoffman played in the movie Rainman. He has difficulties communicating, but has a unique skill: He kept more than 30,000 baseball cards and memorized the statistics on them.

Now 31, Page is 6-feet-3 with blue eyes and weighed between 150 and 200 pounds when he disappeared. He has reddish-brown hair and once wore a goatee.

The elder Gordon Page has turned the search for his son into a full-time job over the past few years, and hopes the Unsolved Mysteries appearance might put an end to that.

"We hope this is going to touch somebody's heart. We want someone to realize, "Hey, this is the guy upstairs, or the guy working on the farm,' " Page said. "We want them to know we love Gordon and want him to live with us."

Florida alert, Part 2

CNN travels to south Florida Saturday in a Future Watch special on the plight of the Everglades.

The investigative program traces the history of Florida's development in relation to the slow death of the Everglades, pointing too-subtle fingers at industry and government officials who've failed to protect the unique ecosystem.

"This is the liquid park that makes the whole Florida engine run," the program (at 4:30 p.m. Saturday) begins. "Screw this up, and it won't be any fun to live in south Florida."

As telling as the half-hour program is _ the above-ground camera work shows the deterioration more than any trip down Alligator Alley could _ CNN's Brian Nelson makes no new or strong arguments about how the Everglades can be saved.

Sure, he hints that Wayne Huizenga's proposed theme park will further the damage, and that the sugar industry could do more to spread its wealth, but in the end, Future Watch is just another reminder that the tough questions about the Everglades' future haven't been asked or answered.

Grade: B

Florida alert, Part 3

Court TV, the ever-present figure in the O.J. Simpson trial, will go back in time Sunday to air a much-publicized local attempted murder case from 1992. The network will feature the 1992 trial of Kevin Callahan, the St. Petersburg man who blamed the anti-depressant drug Prozac for causing him to stab his wife. The weird got weirder at the trial's end, when Callahan disappeared, then faked his death. He was eventually sentenced to 30 years in prison. Court TV will air the half-hour synopsis Sunday at 11 a.m.