John Wayne Gacy was a sadistic serial killer who was convicted of murdering 33 young men and boys. He was also known as the "Clown Killer" because of his side gig dressing up as a clown to entertain children at parties.
Even though police found the remains of 33 bodies under the floors in his home, there was always the fear that there were more victims who had been disposed of in other places.
The families of two separate men feared the worst, that their sons and brothers had ended up becoming victims of the vicious killer. Theodore Szal and Harold Wayne Lovell didn't know each other, but both disappeared around the same time as each other, and both were presumed to have died at the hands of Gacy. Turns out neither man was killed, as both men have been found alive, living their lives in different parts of the country.
Both had run away from home for their own reasons. This was well before the time of social media, which made tracking down people trying to disappear was a heck of a lot harder than it would be today.