Sixty-eight years later, Gaines' whereabouts remains a mystery. For generations Lloyd Gaines was rarely mentioned among his descendants growing up in the family's rambling, three-story home just north of the Central West End.
Likewise, it's only been in recent decades that the University of Missouri has acknowledged its role in Gaines' historic struggle. In 1995 the school established a law scholarship in his honor and later named its Black Culture Center after Gaines and another black student denied admission to the university because of her race.
Should Gaines miraculously reappear today, he'd be 96 years old and free to practice law in Missouri. Last year the University of Missouri School of Law presented him with an honorary degree, and the state bar association granted him a posthumous law license.
What — if anything — authorities will discover in their investigation remains to be seen. Of the more than 100 civil-rights-era "cold cases" the NAACP has asked the Justice Department to investigate in recent years, Gaines' disappearance presents one of the toughest challenges. Few people with any firsthand knowledge of the case are still alive, and no corpse or remains have ever been found.
Did what happen to these dear souls....happen to this handsome, rail-thin Black man?
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