The Disappearance of Steven Koecher

10407181_1528332637440959_2328570144497818493_nOn December 13, 2009, thirty-year-old Steven Koecher drove his white 2003 Chevy Cavalier over two hours away from his home in St. George, Utah, to an affluent suburb in Henderson, Nevada.  To this day, neither his family nor his friends know why Steven ended up in the seemingly-random suburbs across state lines.

At almost 12:00 pm exactly, home security cameras recorded Steven calmly, yet purposefully, walking down the sidewalk and out of view.  He did not readily appear to disoriented or wandering, but moving as if he were headed towards a specific destination. He appeared to be holding a small package under his arm, possibly a manila folder.

Steven left wrapped Christmas gifts (purchased only a few days earlier), his shaving kit, and pillows and blankets behind in the car.  After he quickly walked out of the frame of the residential security cameras, Steven was never seen again.

Authorities were unable to find evidence of foul play; however, Steven’s family is adamant that though, he had trouble finding employment in the area, he did not seem suicidal or as if he were trying to run away from his life.  The disappearance of Steven Koecher is an absolute mystery, one prefaced with a 2,100 mile inexplicable road trip, and concluded with abandoned Christmas gifts and no discernible clues or suspects.


Timeline

Please note that most of the below items are taken from this site on Steven Koecher, which has a lot of interesting information.

-Early December 2009-

Steven’s landlord calls his parents because he has not made a rent payment in three months.

According to some posts in mystery forums, Steven had been working on making little payments here and there, and he had previously been very easy to reach; however, at some point in early December, he stopped answering calls from the landlord.

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-Monday, December 7, 2009-

Steven attends church Christmas dinner.

-Tuesday, December 8, 2009-

Steven is seen by his boss, who he works for distributing flyers.  At some point, his boss gives him $100 in days before he disappears.

-Wednesday, December 9, 2009-

Steven and his sister talk, but he does not mention any travel plans.

He also attends church in St. George, Utah that night from approximately 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm.

At 10:47 pm that night, Steven talks to his dad on the phone about the rent, but Steven seems to downplay the situation, and may have even been angered by the fact that the problem had made been relayed to his parents.

-Thursday, December 10, 2009-

At some point, possibly late Wednesday night or early Thursday morning, Steven gets in his car and starts driving.  By around 6:45 am, on Wednesday morning, it appears that Steven has driven approximately 302 miles and stopped to buy gas in Salt Lake City, Utah.

By 9:45 am, he has driven around 429 miles, and stops for gas in West Wendover, NV.

After around 543 miles of driving, and from noon until around 2:00 pm, Steven inexplicably stops at the house of an ex-girlfriend’s parents (she was not there) in Ruby Valley, NV, and simply visits for a couple of hours.  Steven’s excuse for being in the area is that he is on his way to meet family in Sacramento (which was a lie).

At 3:44 pm, Steven speaks with his sister on the phone, and again, does not mention travelling or visiting anywhere.

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Steven and Siblings

By 4:40 pm, he has driven 784 miles and stops for gas in Salt Lake City, UT.

By 5:25 pm, he has driven approximately 831 miles, and according to a receipt, he stops in Springville, UT.

At 6:56 pm, Steven speaks with his mom on the phone and seems upbeat.  He tells her he plans to come home for Christmas, and she tells him that she has deposited some money into his account for the rent.  He never actually uses any of the money she deposits for him.

At 7:24 pm, he has driven around 831 miles, and makes a purchase in Nephi, UT.

By 11:13 pm, Steven makes it home to St. George, UT.  In total, Steven appears to have driven 1,091 miles total.  Google Maps estimates this trip to take around 14 hours and 44 minutes; however, with all of his stops, it takes Steven over twenty hours.

-Friday, December 11, 2009-

At around 3:00 pm, Steven is passing out flyers for his boss.  He helps two children that are locked out of their house.  Steven helps them look for the key and calls their mom from his cell phone for them.

-Saturday, December 12, 2009-

At 9:19 am, Steven’s cell phone pings off of a cell tower near Overton, NV which is about 1 hour and 20 minutes away from St. George, UT.

At 5:04 pm, Steven buys snacks and gas in Mesquite, NV.  It appears as though he is headed back home to St. George, UT and is only 45 minutes away.

Approximately three hours later, at around 7:58 pm, Steven buys Christmas gifts from a K-Mart in St. George, UT.

From around 10:00 to 10:30 pm, neighbors report seeing Steven come home, stay for around 20-30 minutes, and then head out again.  It is unknown where he was during the two hours between the purchase at K-Mart at 7:58 pm and his return home around 10:00 pm.

-Sunday, December 13, 2009-

stevenk4At 7:52 am, an associate at church calls Steven and asks him to come in around 11:00 am to cover for him.  Steven says that he is currently in Las Vegas, NV but can drive the two hours back, if necessary.  His friend says that he, himself, was already en route from Las Vegas to St. George (hence why he was requesting coverage), and that hopefully, he would just make it in time.  But either way, it wouldn’t have made sense for Steven to head back.

At 10:53 am, another person from his church calls Steven and asks him to make an announcement during the 1:00 pm church service that Steven was scheduled to officiate that day.  Steven says he cannot because he is in Las Vegas.

At 11:15 am, another person from his church calls trying to get coverage for the 11:00 am meeting (the same thing the first friend was trying to get covered).  Steven again tells them that he is in Las Vegas, and could not get back in time.

At 12:54 pm (or 11:54 am PST as shown on the video), Steven’s car is caught on home security footage passing the residence, and presumably, parking.

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The approximate location in which Steven Koecher’s abandoned car was found.

car parked

The area around where the car was abandoned (marked by the red pin in center).

At 1:00 pm (or 12:00 pm PST as shown on the video), a male figure is seen in the residential security footage walks east on Savannah Springs Avenue and crosses to walk north on Evening Lights Street.

where you going

The direction Steven walked on Evening Lights Street

Another security camera also recorded the below footage, where Steven (presumably) can be viewed in the reflection of the bottom left minivan windows continuing to walk in the aforementioned direction.

Steven is never heard from or seen again after this point.

-Monday, December 14, 2009-

At 7:04 am, Steven’s phone voicemail is checked. This is the last activity on the phone.

-Tuesday, December 15, 2009-

The neighborhood HOA attempts to find the owner of Steven’s abandoned car.  They call the number on the flyers Steven had been handing out (in St. George, UT) as a pile of them is visible through the car window.  Steven’s boss gives them Steven’s phone number and they leave a message.

-Wednesday, December 16, 2009-

The HOA leaves Steven’s mother a message about the abandoned vehicle.

-Thursday, December 17, 2009-

Steven’s mother listens to the voicemail and reports Steven missing later the same day.


 

A Closer Look at the Cell Phone Evidence

  • 12/12/2009 – 8:19 am : Steven’s cell phone pings off of a tower in Overton, Nevada.
    ~
  • 12/12/2009 – 9:02 pm and 9:32 pm : The phone pings off of the Webb Hill tower in St. George. Steven’s voicemail is checked. The phone pings again off of the same tower around thirty minutes later.
    ~
  • 12/13/2009 – 7:52 am : The phone pings off of the Pecos tower. This ping is when Steven takes the first phone call from his church associate who is requesting coverage.
    ~
  • 12/13/2009 – 9:53 am : Steven’s cell phone pings off of the Bermuda/Cactus tower. He is talking to another associate at church, again explaining that he is in Las Vegas and unable to help them out.
    ~
  • 12/13/2009 – 12:00 pm : Steven parks his car in the cul de sac.
    ~

    cell-phone-pings

    The approximate direction that the cell phone travels after Steven’s car is parked.

  • 12/13/2009 – 4:36 pm : The phone pings off  of the Arroyo Grande/American Pacific tower.  This was either a call or text from Steven’s landlord.
    ~
  • 12/13/2009 – 6:58 pm : The phone pings a Whitney Ranch cell tower.
    ~
  • 12/13/2009 — 6:59 pm : Steven’s cell phone hits off a tower called Henderson Store COW.  A COW tower is a “portable mobile cellular site that provides temporary network and wireless coverage to locations where cellular coverage is minimal or compromised.”  It appears that a call was made but the recipient is unknown.
    ~
  • 12/14/2009 – 6:04 am and 7:04 am : The last pings on Steven’s phone occurred off of the I-515/Russell tower. It appears to have been a call, or possibly a text, to or from his landlord.

    The next ping consists of the voicemail being checked at 7:04 am.
    ~

According to the cell phone pings on the 13th, Steven’s phone, at least, leaves the area where the car was abandoned and travels northeast.

The phone goes dead later on in the day but seems to stay in the area around the intersection of I-515 and Russell Road.  Though Steven’s car was abandoned in an affluent retirement community, it seems as though his phone later pinged in areas with sketchier apartment complexes.

A mystery forum user, who was claiming to be a local to this area and a former prescription pill addict, described the area accordingly:

“The apartments. You have to understand. I lived in two complexes right where his phone pinged. I am not sure if the phone merely pinged or he was actively using it. It seems he was in the apartments, but there’s a chance he merely passed by. These apartments are extremely ghetto and filled with [prescription] pills. You cannot imagine.”


 

Details and Theories

Like other mysteries with confounding evidence, there are many interesting details, theories, and potential connections surrounding the disappearance of Steven Koecher.

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The mysterious road trip that Steven conducted three days before his disappearance is one of the most perplexing aspects of his vanishing.  Though he interacted with family members and church friends around the time of and after his (over 2,100 mile) road trip, Steven never mentioned travelling or any possible reason for travelling.  Why did Steven drive so far to visit such random, and seemingly insignificant, places?

One of the most prevalent theories regarding Steven’s disappearance is that he decided to disappear, either by committing suicide or running away.  The major source of support for this theory is that Steven was in debt and experiencing pressure financially.  Members of his family have said that Steven was somewhat unhappy with his current circumstances, and have suggested that he could have been depressed.

However, the road trip and the location of Steven’s abandoned car seem to reasonably suggest that there is more to the story.  Why did Steven leave his car in the retirement community in Henderson, NV on the day of his disappearance?  According to the Help Us Find Steven Koecher Facebook page, Steven “had no known connection to the neighborhood where his car was found.”  Steven’s car was left at “the only curbside area that’s not in front of a home, in all of Overlook Village (over 200 homes) and also within Sun City Anthem (thousands of homes).”  The area was also described as “a hard-to-find spot, behind a sound wall.”  How did Steven even know of this location?  Furthermore, if Steven did go to the neighborhood to park his car and then commit suicide, who checked the voicemail on his phone the next morning?  How did the phone travel over ten miles away and why did it go to the Whitney Ranch area?  If Steven had his cell phone all night and he was wandering around, how is it that no one saw him?

Steven was employed to put fliers on vehicles for a window washing business; however, it is unclear whether the business would have serviced customers in a different state.  Also, no fliers were found anywhere in the neighborhood, and “solicitation is banned” in the area.

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As a devout Mormon, Steven reportedly did not use drugs or drink alcohol.  There are countless theories that Steven’s road trip, and subsequent disappearance in Nevada, were related to illicit activities.  However, no evidence has been revealed which supports any of these hypotheses.  Also, though Steven’s car was never formally searched by law enforcement, his “family later had drug-sniffing dogs search the car, which turned up no signs of illegal drugs.”  Neither Steven’s cell phone nor his computer revealed any nefarious or questionable communications; however, Steven did not have an internet connection at his rental home.  He was known to have used computers at the Washington County Library, which are essentially untraceable.

The following ‘missed connection’ from Craigslist was posted in a mystery forum regarding Steven’s disappearance.  It references a “Mr. Steven xxx – Black Jack expert” that the poster met at a casino on December 12, 2009- the day before Steven Koecher disappeared.  The post is essentially unverifiable, and likely to be a hoax, but it is indicative of the abundance of possibilities regarding nontraditional communication that may or may not have not been searched thoroughly.

craigslist

Many people seem to believe that Steven became, perhaps unknowingly, involved in some kind of money making scam or “lucrative short-term work.”  This is supported by the fact that the man observed in the surveillance video leaves his car and heads out just before 12:00 noon local time, almost as if he had an appointment.  It certainly seems as though the man on the video was walking to a specific house or to an unseen, waiting car.

Could Steven have been met with foul play in one of the homes?  In an article which appears to be written by Steven’s father, Rolf Koecher, the following extensive search efforts are detailed.

“Police and volunteers from the Nevada Center for Missing Loved Ones simultaneously conducted a door-to-door search of the neighborhood around where my son disappeared, talking with people and leaving flyers at hundreds of homes. The next day, they did it again.”

In May 2015, Red Rock Search and Rescue coordinators organized a search for Steven employing a methodological strategy and searching higher ground for evidence of Steven.  The search was described as “operating on the belief that Koecher traveled from St. George to the Las Vegas area to do harm to himself” and “as a search for someone who committed suicide.”  Ultimately, the search was unsuccessful and no evidence of Steven was found.


 

In Lieu of Any Conclusion

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Steven is remembered by others “as someone who [liked] board games, hiking and family reunions.”  He was creative and loved learning to play his guitar, which his family found in his room along with his laptop and cell charger.

Steven’s mom described him as “devout to his church” and said that he “liked water sports, always taking advantage of an opportunity to go boating.”

His father, Rolf, passed away in February 2011, suddenly, but of natural causes.  After Steven missed the first Christmas after his disappearance, Rolf gave the following comment:

“If he could have been there, he would have been.”  

 

Steven is 5 foot, 10-11 inches tall.  He has blonde hair and blue eyes.

If you have any information about Steven or his activities leading up to his disappearance, please contact the St. George Police Department at (435) 627-4319 or Henderson police at 702-267-5000.

 

22 thoughts on “The Disappearance of Steven Koecher

  1. Mac says:

    Excellent analysis.

    A couple things stood out to me here after reading a lot about this case over the years.

    First, Steven’s boss at the window washing company was said to have given him $100 shortly before he vanished. The wording is peculiar to me, it was stated he gave it to him not paid him for work. I know it’s right before Christmas 2009, but the purpose of the money was never explained, and certainly leads to some questions.

    Steven’s church friend, Greg spoke with right before he left his car in the Vegas suburb. It turned out they were both in the same area, yet neither of they stopped to ask why. I’m a naturally curious person, so this is slightly unusual to me since it seems like Steven wasn’t known to travel there.

    Lastly, the landlord. There’s been some talk online about him having federal charges against him at one point. Also, he seemed to be contacting Steven frequently. In fact he even reached out to the Koecher family to address the late rent situation. Considering he was 30 years old at the time, that doesn’t seem typical for a landlord.

    We know he called Steven around the time he disappeared as well. Once was around 4 in afternoon, this was after he left his car and walked past the security camera at noon that day. The next call was the following day…at 6 am.

    Nothing ever suggested Steven was friends with him in anyway, obviously late rent is an issue but presumably they worked something out. So why such an early call?

    Liked by 1 person

    • truenoir says:

      All of your comments are really great ancillary (or directly related, it’s hard to tell?) topics– I could literally write separate posts exploring so many facets of this case, but there’s only so many hours in a day 😦

      The $100 from his boss is interesting. It could have been payment for work; however, in most of the sources that I’ve seen it addressed in, it is mentioned as though his boss was just giving him money, or as possibly a loan that he would be working off? No matter the reason, I think the importance of this detail is that Steven had at least one known source of un-deposited cash. It makes it seem possible that he could have been somewhat un-phased by his dwindling bank account BECAUSE he had cash, and perhaps, he even had more cash than this $100. Maybe when he was paid or loaned or given money, Steven’s immediate response wasn’t to deposit it in his bank account, and he generally had a little cache of cash on his person. If this is the situation, then it makes the traveling before his disappearance much less problematic because Steven did have some money and could have been just killing time.

      The phone call from Greg can be read one of two ways. On one hand, maybe it was just a random occurrence. Greg called him for back-up fearing he would be late for the meeting and knowing that it would be a lot to travel back that morning and then lead the meeting at 11am. He may have heard that Steven was in the same town and just immediately reacted like ‘No worries, man, I got it.’

      However, on the other hand, the phone call is weird. First, I wholeheartedly agree that it doesn’t seem probable that Steven gave absolutely no reason for being in the exact same area (almost two hours away) at the exact same time, and that Greg didn’t ask. If I were to call a friend and realize that we had both travelled hours away, separately, to Las Vegas, I think the normal response would be, “What? You’re here too!? What are you doing here?” But maybe the conversation was brief or hurried (or more likely, maybe, they are both just different type of people than you or I). Regardless, even though it can be explained/dismissed, it is weird.

      Secondly, I think the call deserves a bit of scrutiny because it was one of the last confirmed interactions with Steven (other than MORE calls from church people). I think that, sometimes, in solved disappearances, those last few interactions are the most indicative of what happened to that person (for example: The McStay Family). One theory is that he may have been in the area to evangelize to strangers, or to meet an unknown person who had indicated interest in their church, and that the church members are withholding this information for some weird reason, like liability or confidentiality. It explains why there are no phone records of him calling the actual person he was meeting, as the calls were Steven simply confirming details with Greg, and/or the other church people, for whatever he was about to do.

      However, it is important to note that neither Greg, nor the church, are suspected of any involvement by authorities. And, Greg has been extremely cooperative with police, even giving interviews to news outlets, in hopes of getting Steven’s story out there. Though I find the call weird, there are so many weird details in the case, that it’s hard to tell what exactly factored into Steven’s disappearance.

      The landlord aspect, though interesting and strange, seemed overtly speculative in all of the sources that I could find. There are long posts in WebSleuth forums where the landlord’s wife, supposedly, attempts to clear up misconceptions about her husband in the case. It is so bizarre. I have rented different places for over ten years and NEVER have my landlords ever had any of my parent’s information, even in college. If a tenant is late, the usual SOP is an eviction notice.

      On top of that, you’re right, he did contact Steven a lot, but it’s hard to find specifics as to whether those calls were answered, or even calls at all- a few websites mentioned that he was sending texts (when others mentioned calls). And, sometimes, the information even varies as to whether Steven or the landlord was the one contacting the other. The 6am call is odd, but seems even odder in the context of the landlord having knowledge that something bad has potentially happened to Steven. Why create that evidence if he is, in some way, involved?

      It’s hard to subscribe to or fully dismiss ANY of the various possibilities as there are no real ‘smoking guns’ in the case. There is no overwhelming evidence for one theory compared to the others. Overall, whenever I revisit Steven’s disappearance, I feel like there are important details missing. In some ways, I feel as though either his disappearance was a complete synchronistic fluke, or he HAD to have been culpable in keeping those details secret. And, if it’s the latter, than it’s likely that we may never know what happened to him.

      Like

    • Maggie says:

      A white SUV came in behind his car. You see him walk past the camera and toward what looks like a house. A few seconds behind him the SUV pulls up slowly and stops right across from where he was walking. Has this been investigated?

      Liked by 1 person

      • truenoir says:

        Hi there! I was initially ALSO suspicious about the white SUV. HOWEVER, according to most mystery forums and people who covered the case from the beginning, it is generally dismissed as a lead. I didn’t include this in the article because I had difficulties finding legitimate sources to prove the SUV driver was followed up on.

        Apparently, at some point, there was a news article(/s) or some kind of police confirmation that the driver had been located, interviewed, and cleared. The individual is frequently described as a woman realtor who was picking up her elderly mother. Websleuths has a long discussion on the SUV, and this reddit post also discusses the vehicle. Someone else also commented the following:

        “Apparently, there was a woman in the white SUV who picked up an elderly woman, drove off with her, and came back 40 mins later and dropped her off.
        From someone who has seen the complete video: ‘The white SUV parks in front of a house, a woman gets out and goes into the house. Two women come back out, and the SUV drives away. About 40 minutes later, the SUV returns and drops off the woman she picked up and drives away. The woman picked up looks elderly.'”

        However, they then provide a source link which doesn’t work… I could never find a good source to verify any of this information. And, upon taking a second look after your comment, it’s still questionable to me because all I can find are comments in forums. If you or anyone else can find the source material, or a more legitimate mention of the information, please share!

        Like

  2. Ricky says:

    With Steven’s disappearance I think we’re looking at basically 4 scenarios here: foul play, suicide, starting a new life and even accidental death.

    People have mentioned the idea perhaps after a failed job interview, he wandered aimlessly, maybe in some remote area and may have succumbed to the elements. Certainly possible, but an unusual response to not acing a job interview. That would have entailed a lot of walking based on his car location, cell pings etc. I just don’t know if I could buy into that.

    Then when have starting a new life. People tend to throw this around in every disappearance, but by no means is this a common occurrence when compared to other scenarios. I don’t think Steven had the means or ability to do it. By all accounts he was an average church going guy, it just doesn’t seem to fit.

    In context, I suppose suicide is a viable option. He was in a tough financial situation, but this would greatly go against his faith and overall a callous move for someone whose family loved and supported him.

    Anything is possible here, but I’ve always thought foul play was most likely. His travels seemed to have purpose. He had a shaving kit, Christmas presents with him. It seemed very much like he was preparing for the future. The most sensible reason to me to be at that community was to meet someone. I think unfortunately Steven was a trusting guy and something bad happened from there.

    Liked by 1 person

    • truenoir says:

      I’d definitely agree with you. In my opinion, suicide or accidental death does not fit with the mysterious, and secretive, travelling beforehand.

      Starting a new life does not make sense for several reasons- the most convincing (to me) being that he was an adult and wasn’t responsible for kids or ANYTHING really. He could have just moved away or cut off contact with his family, if he so desired. Also, the whole “started a new life” theory doesn’t seem to jive with abandoning the car randomly.

      I think it was foul play, but I’m surprised that there have been no leads for so long.

      Like

  3. Jane says:

    I’ve been following this case since the beginning and it drives me crazy. I think Steven was doing some kind of work for his shady landlord to pay rent, that’s why he never used the money his parents sent to help him out. I think he was running drugs or drug money for his landlord but didn’t realize what he was doing. From all accounts from friends and family he doesn’t sound like the type to be involved in anything illegal, but then again, people in desperate situations do desperate things, so who knows. I think he was sent to do business in Las Vegas by the landlord and the landlord started calling Steven towards the end of the day to see what progress he had made. I think during one of his drug/money runs, he got involved with some dangerous characters and was killed for the drugs/money he was carrying and his body was then dumped in the desert. I think the landlord contacted him that night and early the next morning to figure out what happened when Steven didn’t return. I think he never spoke up about Steven’s disappearance because he would’ve then had to admit to the illegal work he was having Steven do.

    Liked by 1 person

    • truenoir says:

      Now, that would make sense as to why the landlord would be contacting Steven so early on Monday. Previously, I thought that if the landlord was a part of whatever happened to Steven, he wouldn’t have also been making suspicious calls to Steven at weird times.

      But the landlord could have been the reason for all the travelling AND also genuinely unaware that something bad had happened to Steven, at least initially. Steven’s car was searched by drug sniffing dogs and they didn’t alert to anything. But, the fact that Steven didn’t tell his family about the road trips, makes it seem as though Steven was doing something that he was, at least, suspicious of being illegal. I mean he had to have been either on or preparing for road trips during several of their phone conversations. Or maybe, he was doing something embarrassing or secret on the trips, or took them as a result of mental illness? (I find it hard to believe that no one noticed any warning signs or issues if it had been mental illness though.)

      I don’t think he didn’t tell his family about the trips because he just forgot or didn’t think about it. I think there is definitely a reason for the secrecy- maybe a harmless one, but definitely a reason- and one that would probably get us a lot closer to understanding what happened.

      Like

      • Jane says:

        The landlord is now in prison for weapons and drug charges, I would be very interested in knowing what kind of drugs. If Steven was transporting say, prescription pills, drug dogs would not be able to detect if those had been in his car. Another person on Reddit claims that when he was a prescription pill user he would often go to Sun City Anthem to “score” pills. May sound strange but retirement communities are filled with people on pain meds and it’s not uncommon for drug trafficking to be taking place inside them.

        In regards to his mental health, a friend of his got on another forum a couple of years ago and when asked if Steven was “normal” he stated that Steven was slow to catch on to things and often seemed confused and spacey when posed with questions. I don’t know if this points to some kind of mental health or cognitive issue but I thought it was interesting.

        Like

  4. GobacktoSquare1 says:

    Usually when someone dies/disappears they go to significant other or those closesrt to him/her. You have to start at very beginning. No girlfriend? Ok, who’s his best friend? Devout religious? Somebody at his church had to of truly known him. Roomate? The roommate can give some insight, His landlord, computer, family, everyone around hin could have a piece to the puzzle.
    Accidental death (like in that one episode of disappeared where the car & 3 people go missing & they end up finding them in the lake many years
    OR
    Suicide- he’s 30, no girlfriend, no career.. Sure he has family but they’re all going on with their lives and he’s just stuck.

    BUT where’s the body? Look at the community he parked at & the cell ping path.

    He’s gotta be somewhere along that community& cell ping path. Or the national parks near that area.

    Liked by 1 person

    • truenoir says:

      It really does seem like something important is missing. Even if Steven’s disappearance were due to a fluke accident or suicide, what was going on during his long, unexplained trips in the preceding days? I think that one small detail or two could really change the entire story surrounding Steven’s disappearance, and provide some kind of direction or closure.

      Like

  5. subcomandante marcos says:

    How have I never stumbled upon this case before? I’m a young man from Las Vegas who has made several trips to St. George and back, which I have not and would not tell my family/church about. We are the closest major city to St. George, and all of their black tar heroin comes from here. (before you get your panties in a twist, I was a teenager when this happened) It makes perfect sense to me that this guy was trying to make a little money on the side somehow to pay his rent, especially since he had already stared making his road trips when his parents deposited his rent money into his account for him. If I needed to pay my rent and was also doing some runs around that time, and then my parents paid my rent for me, I would still finish my runs and have some extra cash. This is why he bought Christmas presents! He didn’t think he would be able to pay his rent, but then it suddenly got paid, and he was going to be flush with all this extra cash = christmas presents for the family! For years before I got into smuggling the drugs, I was mostly just using them, and the spot where he parked his car in Anthem is the. absolute. perfect. spot in that entire neighborhood to park your car and jump into someone else’s. I don’t think he somehow walked all the way to where his phone last pinged. It was cold and probably windy as well. And for that matter, when I would deliver a package to St. George, I would meet the person somewhere out of view like this and jump into their car as well. My immediate thoughts are that the people he was meeting saw him, a nice, sort of naive, mormon guy and decided to rob him instead of finish the deal, but it went wrong. If i were police, I would search for his body in the desert areas near the Clark County Wetlands/Mt. Frenchman/Lake Mead, as these areas are a very short distance from where his phone last pinged and where anyone with any sense would hide a body around there. Also, the person who talked about all the apartment complexes there as being sketchy is exactly right. And if you are delivering a package you are either going to be traveling to very sketchy areas, or very affluent ones, like Anthem where his car was found. This is somewhat close to what happened to him if not exactly what happened to him, I’ve never been more sure of anything in my life.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. subcomandante marcos says:

    something else I forgot as well: a 30-year-old landlord who was on his case about the rent sounds to me like someone with what I’d call “the hustle gene.” And unless Steven had a second cell phone that police/his family don’t know about, I’d bet money, a lot of money, that this landlord was involved in more than one kind of hustle. If there was no second cell phone, then he is absolutely the key to this case.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. subcomandante marcos says:

    Another thing as well; gosh I’m sorry to leave so many replies. It is not abnormal for Steven and another young man to both be in the Vegas valley at the same time, especially during the christmas holiday. As I said, we are the closest city to St. George and it is less than a two hour drive. Lots of people here have family in both cities. A lot of crazier people even commute from one city to the other. I’m convinced this is a red herring.

    Liked by 1 person

    • truenoir says:

      No need to apologize– thanks for your input! You have very interesting points and local insight is always appreciated! Many have speculated that Steven was involved in something illegal/nefarious before his disappearance. Though it bears repeating, for his family’s sake, that drug search dogs did not alert in or near his car, and no concrete evidence was ever found to support this theory.

      Some have speculated that he may have been a prescription drug courier, as drug dogs would not alert to that, and it’d explain the necessity of driving around a lot (collecting or distributing controlled substances).

      Its surprising though, if Steven were knowingly involved with illegal activity, that authorities didn’t find any concrete evidence of his involvement. There were no phone records, computer records, evidence of drugs in his car, or even a witness that admits he may have been the type to do something sketchy. It seems very convenient that if Steven were living a ‘double life’ and went missing unexpectedly because of it, that so many of the loose ends were so well tied up. Of course, perhaps, he was just very careful and hid everything well.

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      • subcomandante marcos says:

        I’m leaning towards him being careful and hiding everything well, honestly! Does anyone know whether or not he lived alone? This would make it pretty easy, and like I was saying about the second cell phone, unless he had one there’d be no evidence of any involvement in illegal activities, especially if his contact was the landlord or someone else he had a “legitimate” reason for being in touch with. It’s baffling that no communication was found between him and another, previously unknown party, but the fact of the matter is that he was definitely up to something that he was compartmentalizing from the rest of his life; this is pretty much undeniable. I understand your point about the family but this kind of stuff is endemic here and there’s no real shame in it if it’s something their son got caught up in; it seems like he was a good guy (which might have even been his downfall), but there was definitely a side of him they didn’t know about.

        As for the drug dogs, there are many independent studies that raise questions as to their efficacy. Purely anecdotal as well, I know, but I’ve known of several instances where a drug dog’s handler made the dog “hit” on something that wasn’t there, and several instances where a drug dog didn’t hit on a vehicle when there really WERE drugs there. I’d take it with a grain of salt, and as you noted, prescription pills (or street drugs that were properly vacuum-sealed, for that matter) wouldn’t retain any real scent for the dogs to hit on.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. EAPoe1849 says:

    Was a private investigator brought in to dig deeper? It seems a PI could have found out a few answers to the above questions. Also, while the case was still hot, the browsing history on the computers at the Washington County Library should have been checked for keywords: Henderson NV, street names in the area, apartment complex names, etc. Public library computers are notorious for leaving a search history and they are not known for employing InfoSec admins that routinely clear these caches on a regular basis. Unfortunately this opportunity has passed but at the time and if Steven was looking at info (innocently or not) with regard to the Las Vegas area then they might have found some connection or possible lead.

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  9. Michael says:

    I know it’s not PC to say but where I live the over 50 communities have their share of older gay men who attempt to lure young men with promises of legitimate employment then change everything up once they get to the house. Koecher looks very much like he’s heading to meet up with someone in one of these houses and since he was all about finding a job that’s probably what this was all about. A meeting like this can result in outrage, embarrassment, and rejection – especially for someone who was religious – which can be a recipe for something bad to happen.

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