Where is FBI Agent Joe Fitzpatrick Now?

While TV shows make solving a case look easy, it usually takes a lot longer than mere days or weeks to unravel a crime. Netflix’s ‘Girl in the Picture’ proves this fact by diving into the mystery surrounding the identity of a girl, which was solved more than two decades after her death. While there were a number of people whose hard work and dedication led to the much-needed answers, it was Joe Fitzpatrick who stayed with the case for the longest time.

Then serving in the FBI, Fitzpatrick was brought in to solve the kidnapping of Michael Hughes by Franklin Floyd, who claimed to be his father. When he started looking into the past, he discovered a chain of horrifying crimes that led to the abduction of 6-year-old Michael. Fitzpatrick appears in the Netflix documentary to shine a light on this investigation process. If you’re wondering what he’s up to now, here’s what you need to know about him.

Who is Joe Fitzpatrick?

Originally from Carbondale, Illinois, Joe Fitzpatrick used to work at the bank. He was the Vice President of Arkansas bank when he left his job and was recruited by the FBI in 1970. After spending some time in Minneapolis and Milwaukee, he found himself in Oklahoma City, where he spent a good part of the next two decades. From going undercover in a bank robbery case to working assignments with the elite Violent Crimes Major Offender Squad, he has a versatile background in solving crime. He eventually became the agent in charge of kidnappings and came across Michael Hughes’ case in 1994.

Michael and Suzanne’s case was an eye-opener for Fitzpatrick who discovered the sheer number of cracks in the system that allowed criminals to get away with crimes in plain sight. While he, and his team, succeeded in apprehending and convicting Franklin Floyd, Fitzpatrick was still plagued with the mystery that surrounded the identity of Suzanne, then known as Sharon Marshall.

Where is Joe Fitzpatrick Now?

Joe Fitzpatrick lives in Oklahoma. He has been married twice and has three children from his first marriage. One of his children tragically died in the mid-80s due to a rare heart defect. Apart from his knack for solving almost every mystery that comes his way, Fitzpatrick also enjoys fly fishing and a good game of tennis.

After an illustrious career with the FBI, where he built a reputation for closing every case, Fitzpatrick retired in 1998. He’d thought about letting go a little bit in retirement, “spending his days fishing and playing with his grandchildren”, as Matt Birkbeck wrote in ‘A Beautiful Child’. However, he turned out to be busier after leaving the FBI. He became a private investigator, highly sought out by insurance companies.

Even after his retirement, he stayed in close contact with the FBI agents who were now in charge of the case. He also collaborated with Matt Birkbeck, who went on to write two books about Suzanne’s case, and with National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children. Though some questions still remain about the circumstances surrounding Suzanne’s death, Fitzpatrick succeeded in answering the one question that had been on his mind all these years. Finally, the real identity of Sharon Marshall was discovered in 2014, and it brought much-needed closure to the ex-FBI agent.

Read More: Where Are Michael Hughes’ Parents Ernest and Merle Bean Now?