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A Flame in all that Remains

Life changes can come like a wave, unbidden and unstoppable. Whether it’s navigating a job loss, an unexpected move, or the loss of a loved one – these events can be particularly challenging to manage. Life changing events are defined as significant occurrences that have the power to transform a person’s life trajectory. For the man in today’s story, he only ever wanted to be one thing in life, but a medical diagnosis changed the direction of everything he ever strived for.

Curtis Pishon

First, I would like to thank June. June is an advocate for Curtis’s case. She is from the area where Curtis was last seen. It has always bothered June that Curtis is the only missing persons case from the area. June has a unique tie to Curtis. Her professors are retired law enforcement officers, who once worked with him. She wants to help the family of Curtis find the answers they need to bring him home.

Curtis was born on July 7, 1959, to parents Astrid and Nicholas Pishon. Curtis was one of four siblings. Growing up with two brothers Mark, Nicholas Jr., and a sister, Crystle. Curtis grew up in a typical military family. Which included moving frequently. The Pishon’s moved dozens of times between numerous states as well as other countries. Living in Hawaii in the 1970’s Nicholas Pishon Sr. retired from the military and moved back to New Hampshire to his childhood home. Curtis stayed in Hawaii and enrolled in college, but college life was shorted lived. He believed college was just not in the cards for him. He ultimately made the decision to follow his father back to New Hampshire.

In 1978, Curtis was hired as an emergency dispatcher. This job was exciting. Curtis always yearned for a job in law enforcement and this position gave him a small taste. Shortly after he joined the military, following in his father’s footsteps. In 1984 Curtis finished his military contract. By this time, he was old enough to join the police academy. His military experience fast tracked his goals in becoming an officer. After graduation he was hired at the Concord Police Department as a patrol officer. Curtis was finally living his dream in uniform.

Curtis in his police uniform.

In 1990, his dream was cut short. After six years as part of the Concord police force Curtis was diagnosed with a life-changing disease. Multiple sclerosis, a disease that affects the central nervous system. The immune system attacks the myelin, a protective layer around nerve fibers and causes Inflammation and lesions. This makes it difficult for the brain to send signals to the rest of the body. Curtis fought this as long as he could. Staying on the police roster for four more years. This was until one devasting realization in 1994. Curtis could no longer fire his pistol, which was a crucial part of his duties. And just like that Curtis’s dreams faded and he no longer had control of the inevitable.

After 10 years on the force Curtis gave up his badge and was medically retired from the Concord Police Department. Curtis began to struggle in his personal life. In his mind he just lost everything he worked incredibly hard for, falling into a depressive state, combined with frequent alcohol consumption. He spent the majority of his days at his residence, The Highland Inn, in the small beach town of Hampton, New Hampshire. Luckily his medical retirement came with a couple years of full pay and benefits. Eventually in 1998, Curtis would find employment at Reliable Security Guard Agency. He was assigned the overnight shift duty at the then Venture Corporation in Seabrook, New Hampshire. This is where Curtis would seemingly vanish without a trace. Or did someone miss all the signs.

The Highland Inn where Curtis lived

On the evening of July 4, 2000, Curtis was at his security guard post at Venture Corporation. In the year 2000, Venture Corporation was a huge manufacturing plant. The plant manufactured plastic parts for automobiles. While the overnight shift at the facility typically held over 100 employees, on this particular night there were only 12 employees working. This was because of the Fourth of July holiday. Curtis told his family about how he was nervous working this shift as he would be the only security on duty as well. Nonetheless, he started his shift as he did many times before, only this night would be different.

Venture Corporation in Seabrook New Hampshire

He arrived at work at approximately 9:30 p.m. on July 4. Nothing about the first half of his shift seemed unusual or abnormal. It was at 2am when Curtis phoned the fire department. Curtis told them his car was on fire at the job site and only feet away from his security booth. When firefighters arrived, they noticed Curtis’s 1990’s model green Mercury Topaz parked in its usual spot, engulfed in flames. They worked to extinguish the fire and ultimately quickly diminished the flames. A short time later around 3:15AM when Curtis’s supervisor spoke with him via phone about the shocking event. His supervisor would later state Curtis’s mood seemed normal, and he was not noticeably upset despite what had just occurred. After this phone conversation with his supervisor Curtis was seen making a walk around the building. This was noted as odd because of his MS made it difficult for him to walk. Just thirty minutes after this sighting, his colleague arrived for his shift, at 3:45AM. Curtis was not there but all of his normal belongings were. His cigarettes, packed lunch and contact lens solution were inside the guard shack.

Image of Curtis's car after the fire was extinguished.

It is unknown what time eyebrows were raised but it is assumed that day someone noticed something was wrong. Most law enforcement and even Curtis’s family thought he walked away and taken his life. Just two days prior on July 3, Curtis bought back a handgun he sold to his father sometime before. At one point Curtis was short on cash and sold the gun to his father. This immediately stuck in their minds when notified of his absence. Curtis did not have much and what he did have, many of his possessions were in his vehicle. This was again because of his MS. Instead of bringing things up to his apartment, it was easier for Curtis to keep things in his vehicle. It did not take long before the suicide theory started to crack at the seams. The gun Curtis brought back was found in his apartment. It is also important to note Curtis did not carry for his job either.

New details started to emerge about the night of July 4 into the early morning hours of July 5 around Venture Corp. At one point across the street from the building there was a convince store where witnesses noticed a “group of rowdy people”. This was noted as unusual activity for that time. Investigators have said that the fire which destroyed Pishon's vehicle was suspicious. There was no sign of arson or any accelerants at the scene, but no indications that the fire had started accidentally either. During Curtis’s shift, someone had vandalized vending machines, (two that distributed snacks as well as a change machine) this damage was done with a forklift. Also uncovered was damage to a door on the property. At 3:45AM, the same time his relief showed up, he spotted two cars taking off at a high rate of speed from the parking lot away from the building. He was never able to identify the cars. Curtis also told his family that he was concerned about possible illegal activity, including drug dealing. Curtis also told his family he feared for his safety on the job because his life had been threatened a time or two by someone working at Venture Corp. No evidence was ever found about Curtis’s suspicions or allegations.

In October 2008, a man named Robert April III was arrested for threatening to kill the brother of a man who owed him a small amount of money. In his threatening statement, April allegedly said he'd killed Curtis and buried his body. This arrest raised eyebrows, especially to law enforcement, not just because of his statement but Robert April was one of the twelve employees working on the night of Curtis’s disappearance. April remains one of two persons of interest in the case of Curtis, the second has never been named publicly. There was a search conducted in 2010 of a swimming pool but no evidence leading to Curtis was recovered. In July 2011 April was accused of breaking into a home and threatening the occupants inside with a knife. In 2021 Robert April was again arrested for violence. He was arrested after a woman came forward and admitted April beat her and strangled her with a rope during a domestic dispute. Robert April fled the home but was ultimately found hiding at his mother’s residence.

Robert April circa 2021

What happened to Curtis Pishon in the early morning hours of July 5, 2000? Is his sudden disappearance related to anything that happened on the grounds of Venture that night? It seems that one event took place and then the blocks started to fall. Was the car fire a distraction for something else that was going on? If so, where was Curtis during the time the fire started? Since his vehicle was parked just feet away from the security booth it is assumed he would have witnessed something. Although the theory of Curtis taking his own life crossed everyone’s mind, that flame was quickly diminished when family found his handgun inside his home. Searches of the area turned up no evidence of Curtis, ruling out the possibility he walked away. Law enforcement also looked into taxis that may have gone to the area to pick anyone up and everything was cleared. His medical diagnosis changed the trajectory of his life, but he still had the protect and serve moto running through his blood. What about the twelve employees working on the premises this night, did they see something but are terrified to come forward? Out of all the events that occurred at least one pair of eyes witnessed it. Over two decades have passed since Curtis was last seen, leaving just a flame in all that remains.


Please like and follow the Facebook page June has set up for the disappearance of Curtis Pishon:


The family of Curtis, also has a website, dedicated to him:

"The Cold Case Unit is still handling Curt’s case and you can contact them instead (603-271-2663). Still hesitant? You can leave a message on our dedicated tip line, and we’ll relay the information to them: 603-746-1196".

The majority of information sourced from Murder She Told Podcast:

More news links:


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