Nine years after his disappearance, family still hopes to find Steven Koecher


A young Mormon went missing, vanishing without a trace. His car was abandoned in a Henderson retirement community.

A home surveillance system captured the last time he was seen.

After nearly a decade, cards and newspaper articles about Deanne Koecher’s missing son sit frozen in time.

“These are cards. We're thinking about you. We love you. We wish we could help you.,” said Deanne. “It says, I know at times like this, taking one day at a time can be a pretty tall order. Maybe it will help to know we're thinking of you.”

On Dec. 13, 2009, Steven Koecher vanished from his home in St. George, Utah. That same day, his car was found abandoned 140 miles away in Henderson, on a cul-de-sac in Sun City, Anthem.

“It was absolutely devastating,” said Deanne. “I knew that was horrible news.”

“We knocked on all the doors,” said Dallin Koecher, Steven's younger brother. “We had pictures of Steven. Have you seen this person? Have you seen this person? No one had seen him.”

RELATED : Help Us Find Steven Koecher

Steven was a devout member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. As the second oldest of five kids, he was struggling.

“He was a college graduate,” said Deanne. “He couldn't seem to find the job that matched his personality.”

“As the days ago by, I start thinking about suicide,” Dallin said. “He's in a rough state of his life.”

But clues in Steven's car made Dallin believe his brother was still alive.

“We see Christmas presents in the car,” Dallin explained. “Someone who is thinking about this, in my mind, isn't trying to disappear.”

Then, there’s the last images of his brother, captured by a home surveillance system in Henderson. They show him walking away from his car.

“This person walks with purpose, right?” Dallin said. “He doesn't look confused or dazed.”

With something tucked under his left arm, Steven walks off camera, and out of their lives.

“What was that? Why was he there?” Dallin asks. “Why would you be going to Henderson, Nevada, on a Sunday at noon?”

With no connection to Henderson, it's a clue that baffles investigators.

“We know about as much as we know now as we did the second we realized he was gone,” said Detective Adam Olmstead with the St. George, Utah, police. “In the time I was handling the missing persons cases here in St. George, it's the only one that I haven't been able to locate. So that sticks with me.”

Hours after Steven walked off camera, Olmstead says, his cellphone was used. A quick call was made to voicemail that no one can explain.

“Why, why, why? What got you there?” Deanne asked. “What happened? But the one question, are you comfortable? Are you safe? Are you at peace?”

Then, there are those cards and news articles -- something solid for Deanne to hold on to.

“If you stop and look at this stuff, you just think, how could this possibly be what we're doing?” asks Deanne.

These are words this family could've never expected as they try to answer the question -- what happened to Steven?

“We're stuck between hope and grief because you want to hope for the best, but we can't grieve because we don't know what's happened,” Dallin said.

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