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Old 06-06-2016, 11:54 PM   #1
SheRaaa
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Default What do you guys think of the Steven Koecher case?

If this case had happened during UM's run, it would have been perfect for the show....basically this Mormon guy is having financial troubles during the recession, drives to Las Vegas for some unknown reason, parks his car in a seemingly random retirement community neighborhood, is seen on surveillance camera walking down the street with a folder in his hands...and is never seen again.

His Charley Project page:

http://www.charleyproject.org/cases/...er_steven.html

More information:

http://dogservant.blogspot.com/2012/...n-koecher.html

I think he may have been slightly naive and took some sort of part-time or freelance job offer and got conned and somehow killed by scam artists of some sort....although, the one thing that has ALWAYS bothered me about this case is that the police have said there was no evidence on his computer.

He was walking down the street with a folder in his hand, right around noon on the day he disappeared...seems like this was some sort of "appointment" and things went wrong from there...but where is the computer evidence of a shady Craigslist seller or something? Did he randomly start chatting with someone at a gas station or something?

I'd love to hear your guys' thoughts!
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Old 06-07-2016, 01:38 AM   #2
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This was on Disappeared. Bizarre case, I believe there's quite a bit of discussion about it on Websleuths.

Steven did go to Las Vegas, but he disappeared from Henderson, Nevada. I remember the Disappeared episode stating he had been mostly unemployed for quite some time when he vanished.
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Old 06-10-2016, 12:04 PM   #3
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Here's a link to some interesting scenarios as to what happened to Koecher.
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Old 06-10-2016, 12:50 PM   #4
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That's super comprehensive, man.
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Old 06-10-2016, 01:52 PM   #5
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This required some deep thought, but I wonder if Steven did take on a job that involved delivering something, and his story about visiting an ex-girlfriend was something he planned in case people started getting suspicious. He could have delivered the items to various places and visited the ex, thus giving him a "reason" to be in that area. I'm not sure it was drugs though. The Disappeared episode said a dog checked his car for an hour and they were certain no drugs had ever been in that car.

If it is Steven on the surveillance footage, he apparently wasn't carrying much, with the possible exception of a folder. But then again, maybe he wanted to check out the area and people first to make sure it wasn't a trap and if he encountered LE he could have said he was lost or something of this nature.

That's a bit out there I know, but nothing makes sense in this one.

I do have to wonder if Steven is/was gay. I mean, a reasonably handsome, unmarried 30 year old who is smart, has a college degree, etc. People would have talked. His family were strict Mormons and probably some or all of them wouldn't have approved. I've read various accounts that the surviving family members are not nice people. And his mother acted utterly horrified that he went to Las Vegas, without even knowing the purpose of his visit. There are good and bad people of every kind, but some of his family members seemed stuffy and I could understand if he wanted to get away from them. After all, he did quit his dad's business and moved hours south, away from them.

Last edited by wiseguy182; 06-30-2016 at 08:27 AM.
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Old 06-10-2016, 02:29 PM   #6
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I think Koecher was driving around aimlessly, seemingly without a purpose or any clear location to where he was going. There were hints that he was depressed (financial problems, problems getting a job, feeling like the least successful sibling, etc.) prior to his disappearance. He abandons his car right before noon on the 13th.

Link to the cell phone tower pings. His car was left south-west to where the map shows "MacDonald Ranch". The next cell tower pings all occur near the Whitney Ranch in Henderson, NV. I think he was walking towards a specific location, possibly the vast desert/mountain region to the east of Henderson. I believe he ultimately committed suicide shortly after leaving his cell phone in the early morning hours of the 14th.
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Old 06-10-2016, 04:36 PM   #7
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This is interesting. Utah is the #1 most depressed state. Also fairly high in suicide rate and higher than I expected.

http://exmormon.org/d6/drupal/Utah-m...n-suicide-rate.

I should point out Marie Osmond's gay son committed suicide.
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Old 06-21-2016, 09:40 PM   #8
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This case has always fascinated me since I first watched it on Disappeared. There's so little to work with that the possibilities of what happened to this guy are endless.

Ultimately I think his poor financial situation led to a possibly shady job offer outside of Vegas. Maybe a quick cash scheme. Maybe a Craigslist type posting. But something drew him to that particular neighborhood, where he arrived almost exactly at 12 noon and was seen walking with what looked to be a folder in his hand. Seems to be like a meeting of some sort.

Although the one detail that always got me was that he didn't park at any specific residence. It was just a dead end cul de sac away from the majority of the other houses. While it seems very much like he was there for something business related, it is very unusual that he didn't park near his destination.
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Old 06-22-2016, 06:57 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wiseguy182
Wow, that's a good point. It does seem under normal circumstances, he would have just parked in the person's driveway if he was going for a specific house. Unless somebody told him not to park in their driveway because they didn't want his car to be seen there.

This does make foul play seem less likely on the other hand though. Would somebody in the neighborhood hatch a murder plot that involved Steven possibly being witnessed in the area in broad daylight, and possibly placing his last movements at or right near their house?

It seems the family did rule out gambling as a possible reason for his trip to Las Vegas. The reasoning for this was that he was so broke that he didn't have any money to gamble with -- his bank account had less than $2 at the time.

His choice of parking was always odd and conflicting to me; he leaves the car generally away from the houses in the community at a dead end cul de sac, as if he indeed intended to go there but not to a specific house. Yet he is then seen walking past the homeowner's camera with a business type folder at almost precisely 12 noon, seemingly walking with a destination in mind.

You're right, he was pretty broke at that point, so driving to another state with such little money does kind of make you wonder if there was a business proposition to be had somewhere along the way.

But as for that community and why he parked where he did is baffling.

Based on where he left the car, I think it could have been for a few reasons:

1) He was told to meet there, but not given an address and simply instructed to park on the street away from the houses. There could have been a car waiting around the corner to pick him up and get started with work. This could have been done as a ruse to make him seem safe and comfortable and give the impression the job has ties to this community.

2) He was given an address but specifically told not to park by the house. This obviously would be quite a big red flag and Steven would really have to ignore common sense to agree to something like this.

3) He randomly parked his car there, left on foot to either commit suicide or start a new life.

4) Steven went there as part of "work" as he handed out business flyers for a Utah window washing company, which has been said to be his only income at the time. He could have simply parked at the very end of the development and planned on distributing flyers on foot and speaking with home owners. Maybe he was randomly lured into a house?

I tend to think Steven went there as part of a job assignment/job offer and was picked up by car and taken elsewhere, likely to meet his demise. So to me #1 seems plausible to me, though he could have very well been desperate enough to consider #2, even though it is a sketchy/unusual. I suppose #3 is possible, but he didn't seem to have the funds for any elaborate plans, and it would be unusual to buy Christmas presents and then on foot go find a place to commit suicide. I always looked at the gifts as the reason why I didn't think he was suicidal at that moment. He likely intended to give them to their recipients over the holidays. #4 admittedly is quite a longshot. He never handed out any flyers in the community...and I feel that he never entered a house there, arranged meeting or not, because that is just an incredibly risky thing to do with so many witnesses nearby. That's why I think he left by car and killed elsewhere, but likely not there at a house.

We do know within the days after he went missing his phone pinged in a more northern area of town, the voicemail was checked, and it there was some movement with the pings in a general vicinity north of the development...and then finally it stayed in one area until it stopped communicating with the cell tower. But we don't know if this travel is indicative of of both Steven and the phone...or just the phone.

The last real update of the case was over a year ago when they searched an area of land behind that community. So obviously there was a consideration he was either suicidal or he was disposed of there. But certainly if he was suicidal, the pings kind of contradict the idea he went there to harm himself.

Steven seemed like he might be easy prey to others. Broke, desperate, not very street savvy. I doubt he voluntarily agreed to do anything illegal, but could have duped and fell into a bad situation.
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Old 06-23-2016, 03:05 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caffeine
His choice of parking was always odd and conflicting to me; he leaves the car generally away from the houses in the community at a dead end cul de sac, as if he indeed intended to go there but not to a specific house. Yet he is then seen walking past the homeowner's camera with a business type folder at almost precisely 12 noon, seemingly walking with a destination in mind.

You're right, he was pretty broke at that point, so driving to another state with such little money does kind of make you wonder if there was a business proposition to be had somewhere along the way.

But as for that community and why he parked where he did is baffling.

Based on where he left the car, I think it could have been for a few reasons:

1) He was told to meet there, but not given an address and simply instructed to park on the street away from the houses. There could have been a car waiting around the corner to pick him up and get started with work. This could have been done as a ruse to make him seem safe and comfortable and give the impression the job has ties to this community.

2) He was given an address but specifically told not to park by the house. This obviously would be quite a big red flag and Steven would really have to ignore common sense to agree to something like this.

3) He randomly parked his car there, left on foot to either commit suicide or start a new life.

4) Steven went there as part of "work" as he handed out business flyers for a Utah window washing company, which has been said to be his only income at the time. He could have simply parked at the very end of the development and planned on distributing flyers on foot and speaking with home owners. Maybe he was randomly lured into a house?

I tend to think Steven went there as part of a job assignment/job offer and was picked up by car and taken elsewhere, likely to meet his demise. So to me #1 seems plausible to me, though he could have very well been desperate enough to consider #2, even though it is a sketchy/unusual. I suppose #3 is possible, but he didn't seem to have the funds for any elaborate plans, and it would be unusual to buy Christmas presents and then on foot go find a place to commit suicide. I always looked at the gifts as the reason why I didn't think he was suicidal at that moment. He likely intended to give them to their recipients over the holidays. #4 admittedly is quite a longshot. He never handed out any flyers in the community...and I feel that he never entered a house there, arranged meeting or not, because that is just an incredibly risky thing to do with so many witnesses nearby. That's why I think he left by car and killed elsewhere, but likely not there at a house.

We do know within the days after he went missing his phone pinged in a more northern area of town, the voicemail was checked, and it there was some movement with the pings in a general vicinity north of the development...and then finally it stayed in one area until it stopped communicating with the cell tower. But we don't know if this travel is indicative of of both Steven and the phone...or just the phone.

The last real update of the case was over a year ago when they searched an area of land behind that community. So obviously there was a consideration he was either suicidal or he was disposed of there. But certainly if he was suicidal, the pings kind of contradict the idea he went there to harm himself.

Steven seemed like he might be easy prey to others. Broke, desperate, not very street savvy. I doubt he voluntarily agreed to do anything illegal, but could have duped and fell into a bad situation.
I should point out that the camera apparently didn't show anything unusual, or anything at all really, after Steven (or whoever that is) walks out of frame. Not necessarily saying there would have to be. But one could assume we would have heard about any suspicious persons and/or cars if they were on the footage. Unless they just used a different route that was out of the range of the camera.

Which leads me to this...I think we can probably rule out robbery as a motive. His vehicle wasn't taken, and there didn't appear to be anything missing out of it or the car being disturbed in any way. I suppose a sexual assault or something of this nature is possible but not terribly likely. Steven was about 180 pounds and somewhat athletic and at the very least could have put up a decent fight.

Therefore, I don't think we're left with a whole lot in terms of possible motives for someone to commit foul play on Steven. I still think it's a very real possibility, but it seems like we would have something more concrete to go on by now. And if someone offed Steven, would they really leave his car right in that area?

Baffling case.
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Old 06-23-2016, 02:56 PM   #11
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Why someone would harm him is not really understandable; he was a pretty clean guy that seemed to live a pretty ordinary life. Certainly robbery, random or not, would be a long shot. He drove a 2003 Cavalier, so obviously he didn't seem flashy at all.

However, if a possible job prospect turned out to be something incredibly suspicious, perhaps he was killed to protect their cover and to ensure he wouldn't go to police. I agree it's hard to say one way or the other what could have happened, but certainly I'd consider a lot of scenarios based on what little we know.

If we can figure out what brought him to that neighborhood, we have a pretty good start. But I tend to think this might have been a result of a face to face assignment. Still, it's incredible his phone and computer yielded no clues...not even hand written notes in his car.
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Old 06-24-2016, 06:44 AM   #12
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I'm rewatching the Disappeared episode again.

I used to lean toward the theory that he was passing out flyers for the window-washing company he worked for in order to drum up business. But I'm getting close to discarding this theory because some of the known items don't fit. First, in the camera footage, he doesn't seem to be going to every house, but rather has a specific destination in mind. Secondly, would people in Nevada really use a Utah company for basic window-washing? It seems there would be people in the area that could do that sort of thing. Was it common for him or people in his position to go such lengths to attract business? And finally, nobody in the neighborhood testified to meeting Steven that day, so unless something nefarious happened to him at the first house he selected (at random) and with no known motive, foul play is seeming like a long shot at this point.

The episode suggested he might have caught a bus or something and got transported out of the area. Another possibility.

But yeah, foul play in an affluent community where everyone is older than 55 -- I think it's far down on the list of possibilities at this point.
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Old 06-24-2016, 09:51 AM   #13
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Handing out flyers is definitely a possibility and would at least explain why he had what looks to be a folder with him. It could also explain why he didn't really park adjacent to any houses. In theory he could have parked at the end of the development, walked to the front and intended to work his way from the front to the back and then retrieve his car.

However, if that was the case one would think he would have at least distributed a few flyers within the neighborhood or at least spoke with a few homeowners. That seemingly did not happen though. There were some flyers left in his car if I recall correctly, so those were either extras or he never took any at all.

I agree, I don't think foul play within the neighborhood, let alone the first house he went to is all that likely. However, if there was some sort of prearranged meeting there, I suppose he could have been targeted for whatever reason. Though if he left the community and was merely leaving his car there, I think the chance goes up quite a bit.

Had he walked past the camera empty handed, I would have thought all bets were off. He could have walked virtually anywhere after that. But with that folder he had, it has to be something business related in there, whether it's a resume or flyers.

It's hard to think of a motive here, but seemingly he was engaged in something work related and just dropped off the face of the earth.
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Old 06-24-2016, 03:45 PM   #14
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Considering his odd movements in the days preceding his disappearance, as well as the troubles he was facing, and his then-recent abrupt move away from his family, I am starting to think suicide or voluntary disappearance at this point.

Maybe the trip to Vegas was something he wanted to see before he died and check off his bucket list. Maybe he just wanted to see the sights.

It's also important to note that he disappeared on a Sunday. Granted, people do apply for jobs on a Sunday, but I would imagine it's probably the least active day for submitting applications for various reasons. First, most businesses have shorter hours on Sundays. Secondly, there's rarely management personnel working on those days to conduct interviews. And would he really be looking for a job hours away from where he lived?

Which leads me to this: It was Sunday. Considering how heavily involved with the church he was, why did he apparently not tend to services that day? If he skipped out on church, which would have been highly unusual for him, there must have been something going on in his life.
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Old 06-24-2016, 05:22 PM   #15
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Holy Hell, I was WRONG!!

Checking out the full version of the footage on that website, it begins with a white SUV driving down the road. The second it goes out of frame, Steven (or whoever that is) is seen walking down the road in the opposite direction. After several seconds pass, the white SUV returns going in the same direction as Steven, does a slow crawl and eventually stops in front of a house! (but doesn't pull into a driveway).

Now, it can't be confirmed that the driver and Steven ever had contact, but I think this gives some credence to the theory that he had an encounter with someone and was driven out of the area and perhaps foul play occurred afterwards.

This wasn't shown at all in the Disappeared episode.

Both his mother and his cousin KC said on the Disappeared episode they were pretty sure it was Steven on the footage, however they couldn't be 100% sure it was him. I agree with this.

If that white SUV lived in the neighborhood, why would it circle back like that and not pull into a driveway?

Changing my mind now. I think he was murdered. Seriously, watch the full version.
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