Charlie Malcom Allen Jr. was born April 26 1985 in Haverhill Massachusetts to parents Ann and Charles Sr. He was the oldest of 3 kids and was particularly close with his sister Brittany. The family spent most of their time shared between their Haverhill home, and their summer home in Gloucester. He graduated from Haverhill high in 2003 and went on to attend University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth where he was majoring in Psychology and considering medical school after graduation.
Growing up, Charlie was always smart enough to do well in school without even trying. He was also athletic and outgoing, making him successful in almost anything he tried. His parents say that he put his whole heart into everything he did- if he was going to do something, he was going to be the best at it.
Two of Charlie’s many talents were Tennis, and video gaming. Now I’m not a video gamer, so I don’t know what any of this means, but apparently he was involved in the world of competitive gaming, specifically Half- Life and Counter- Strike. In fact, he was so invested in this, that he was literally the number one player in the world for Half Life, and was quite well known among gamers under the handle Neo.
However, Charlie was not without his struggles. For all of his talent and charisma and good looks, Charlie also had some darker times and erratic mood swings which ultimately led to his diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder. Amelia, could you tell our friends a little more about Bipolar Disorder?
His family reports that his manic and depressive episodes were well managed on medication and therapy, but Charlie did not like the way his medication made him feel. He told his sister that it numbed him, that he didn’t feel passionate about anything.
During the summer of 2007, Charlie had stopped taking his medication and was doing his best to manage his moods with lifestyle changes, and physical activity. At the time, he was living with a friend from highschool- Anthony Costanzo- before his senior year of college at UMass in the fall. At the time, Charlie’s friends and family report that his obsession with tennis was escalating. Though he was quite good, a really talented player with a lot of potential, it sounds as though it was pretty consuming. Charlie was playing and improving, but when he wasn’t practicing he was watching professional tennis players on TV.
That September, Charlie confessed to his friend that he had legally changed his name to Neo Maximus. He said he’d been noticing that most of the professional tennis players had more unique and memorable names, and that if he was going to stand out when HE went pro, he needed a unique name as well. By the end of the month, Charlie had followed through with LEGALLY changing his name, choosing NEO after his favorite movie character from The Matrix and his online gaming persona, Babson which was his mother’s maiden name, and Maximus after the character in the Gladiator. This certainly was something that was a little unnerving for his family and friends, but his relationship with his family was close and communicative and from their perspective he was realizing it may not have been his brightest idea ever. He still went by Charlie, which is why that’s the name we’re using for him in this episode.
On October 11th of 2007, Charlie and his dad were set to have lunch together near his off campus apartment in New Bedford but Charles Sr had to reschedule and they weren’t able to get together after all. His father said that the conversation was a little bit odd, though nothing that rang alarm bells for him at the time, though later calls would become increasingly alarming.
At 2:00 pm, Charlie met his friend Mason Viau for tennis practice and Mason reported that everything seemed normal with Charlie. They had a great practice, and Charlie invited Mason to join him that night for a party with some of the girls on the tennis team. They had dinner together and agreed to meet back up at 8:30pm
At around 8pm. Charlie’s sister Brittany says she noticed that Charlie’s facebook page had been deleted, and finding it strange she called him to ask about it. But when her brother answers, her life forever changes.
At first Charlie tells her he’s thinking about going to a party, nothing, no big deal. But when Brittany asks about facebook she says Charlie began to panic. He sounded absolutely terrified, truly and deeply afraid. He sounded out of breath, as if he was running, and he said that HE is not the one who deleted his account, that someone must have done that to him, and that some really important people were after him because of some emails he had sent. He told her she was in danger, that she needed to leave school and go to their father so he could protect her. When she tried to question him about what he meant, he said “I can’t talk right now, but all the answers are in the periodic table of elements”
At this time, Charlie leaves voice messages for both parents. He tells his father he’ll be going to Florida and Mexico. He tells his mother he’ll be going to Texas, and that he felt isolated, and needed to be loved more. Both agreed that he sounded as if he was running, and frightened.
All of Charlie’s relatives frantically tried to reach him back but it went straight to voicemail. Mason attempted to reach Charlie who was a no-show for their party with the tennis girls, and he too went straight to voicemail. Charlie’s phone had been turned off. His parents notified the university, attempted to find their son, and waited for him to come home.
On October 13th 2007 at approximately 3 am, police responded to a woman in a Dartmouth home who said a man matching Charlie’s description broke into her second story bedroom. The woman says he told her he was looking for his friend Mason, and when she told him he didn’t live there, he apologized politely, jumped out the window, and ran into the woods.
On October 14th, police were called to a residence of someone who found a backpack containing school supplies in a yard off Slocum road, right next to campus. The notebooks were labeled Charlie Allen. As they contacted UMass, they realized this backpack belonged to a missing person.
Initial searches for Charlie included bloodhound units, aerial and ground searches of any local natural areas where Charlie may be injured or even deceased, as well as homeless camps, hotels, and other transient destinations. Shortly after the investigation began, his 1999 Ford Expedition was found abandoned on the UMass Dartmouth campus. It appeared he had slept in his car. During this investigation, officers comparing cases realize that the break in from earlier in the week had almost certainly been Charlie’s last known sighting.
On October 17th, Charlie’s sneakers were found in a wooded area off Chase Road. Charlie’s keys, wallet, and cell phone have never been recovered, and there has been no activity on the cards or phone since.
On October 27, police suspended the official local search for Charlie due to a lack of evidence.
Officially, foul play is not suspected, according to Captain Scott Brooks of the Dartmouth police who at the time was quoted as saying “People in a manic state pretty much run on adrenaline… we are still attributing his disappearance to that” Detectives on the investigation say that they’ve found no evidence on his computer or anywhere else that indicate trouble.
According to Charlie’s former roommate Anthony, there’s a lot of credibility to the theory that Charlie ran away on his own, though I don’t think anyone is disputing that he was in a manic state. Charlie was incredibly smart, incredibly talented, and incredibly adaptable. Anthony has witnessed his friend use memorized credit card numbers at stores, and says that he’s got a well connected virtual network. Anthony admits candidly that if Charlie wanted to, he could have been out of New England and anywhere else very quickly. Over the years, several potential sightings of Charlie have popped up all over the country. While some seemed more credible than others, none have been confirmed.
The family of Charlie Allen Jr seem to believe though that there may have been some foul play happening in order to cause Charlie to disappear. The ominous phone calls are just something they cannot shake. They don’t believe he’d ever willingly leave his family, but they do believe he felt his life was in danger. According to the Help Find Neo Maximus AKA Charlie Allen Jr Facebook page, their take is that Charlie is either hiding out, or dead. But hiding from who?
The family was concerned about the fact that they found nothing on his computer- in fact, they found no emails at all in the week leading up to his disappearance. Had it been wiped clean? And by who?
Could Charlie have been being threatened? Did he fear enough for his own life that he went into hiding and has stayed there for years? Or was Charlie suffering a mental health episode that led him to running away in a confused state. If so- where is he now? Could someone have taken advantage of his vulnerable state and caused him harm? Many believe he may have died of exposure but where could he be? The woods have been thoroughly searched over the years. Others fear he’s one of the many unnamed homeless who suffer from mental health related issues, or perhaps even memory loss. Either way, the family and many others agree that the case suffers from a level of dismissiveness because of the stigma surrounding mental health.
In January of 2021, a partial human skull was found on a beach in Dartmouth. Charlies parents have both submitted their DNA for a potential match, but as far as I can tell there is no official result. In the meantime, Charlie’s family keeps his cell phone active just in case.
Call to Action:
It’s entirely possible that Charlie is alive and well somewhere, and maybe he doesn’t know who he is.
Charlie was 22 at the time of his disappearance and would be 36 years old today. He was approximately 5’11 – 6’0, 175 – 190 pounds. At the time of his disappearance, Charlie was wearing Black sweatpants with a red stripe down the leg, a long-sleeved white t-shirt with the words “2007 US Open” on the front, and sneakers.
If Charlie is out there, sharing his photo far and wide could be the key to resolving this case. You can find shareable photos on our social media and our website, lostsoulsofamerica.com
If you have any information about the disappearance or whereabouts of Charlie Malcom Allen Jr AKA Neo Maximus Babson please call the Dartmouth police at 508-997-9900. We’ll be back next week, to shine light on another unresolved case. These are the stories of the voiceless. These are the Lost Souls of America.
Disappeared on Investigation Discovery: Game Over