The Trail Went Cold – Episode 340 – The Lost Boys of Hannibal

May 10, 1967. Hannibal, Missouri. 13-year old Joey Hoag, his 11-year old brother Billy Hoag, and their 14-year old friend Craig Dowell leave their homes to explore some caves, but never return. Even though a massive search effort is conducted of all the caves in the area, they fail to turn up any trace of the boys or evidence of what happened to them. Over the years, there is speculation that a construction project caused Joey, Billy and Craig to become trapped in a cave or that they may have been abducted and murdered by an unknown third party, but there is no conclusive evidence to support any scenario. On this week’s episode of “The Trail Went Cold”, we explore the tragic unsolved disappearance of three children who have become known as “The Lost Boys of Hannibal”. Special thanks to listener Christine True for narrating the opening of this episode.

If you have any information about this case, please contact the Hannibal Police Department at (573) 221-0987.

This episode of “The Trail Went Cold” is brought to you by HelloFresh. Go to and use code “50wentcold” for 50% off plus free shipping.

Join us on Saturday, August 12 at 8:00pm ET for an online streaming marathon where we will be watching classic segments from “Unsolved Mysteries”. You can enter our screening room by clicking on this link.

Additional Reading:

“The Lost Boys Hannibal: Inside America’s Largest Cave Search” by John Wingate

“Lost Boys of Hannibal” Podcast

“The Trail Went Cold” is on Patreon. Visit to become a patron and gain access to our exclusive bonus content.

“The Trail Went Cold” is doing a weekly livestream show on Vokl every Thursday from 7:00-8:00 PM ET as part of their “True  Crime Thursday” line-up. For more information, please visit their website.

“The Trail Went Cold” is going to be appearing on podcast row at “Crimecon” at the World Center Marriott in Orlando, Florida on September 22-24, 2023. To get a 10 % discount on the purchase of tickets to the event, please use our specialized promo code, “COLD23”, by visiting

“The Trail Went Cold” will be appearing at the True Crime Podcast Festival, taking place at the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel in Austin, Texas on August 25-27, 2023. To get a 15 % discount on the purchase of tickets, please our specialized promo code, “TRAIL”, by visiting

The Trail Went Cold is produced and edited by Magill Foote.

All music is composed by Vince Nitro.