Details of Disappearance
Chervenka was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 1997. He stopped taking his medication during 1998 and his condition worsened as a result. His family attempted to have him admitted into a hospital for treatment in May 1999 after a manic episode, but he refused their assistance.
Chervenka phoned his sister during the evening hours of May 28, 1999 from his home in Phoenix, Arizona. He apparently threatened members of his family during the conversation. His sister contacted the authorities after terminating the call, but law enforcement said they could not become involved, as Chervenka had not make a specific threat against anyone.
Chervenka apparently made several more phone calls, then departed from his residence that night. He has never been heard from again.
Authorities searched Chervenka's apartment 11 days after his disappearance. An open notebook was on the table, along with a glass of soda and a Bible. There was no sign of him.
A message was on his answering machine from a man who found Chervenka's wallet on a road leading into the Four Peaks Wilderness area, an hour north of Phoenix. The man located the wallet on May 29, the day after Chervenka vanished.
Authorities began searching the Four Peaks area and discovered Chervenka's vehicle abandoned on Cline trailhead. No other evidence regarding Chervenka's whereabouts was located. He left his young daughter behind.
It's unclear why Chervenka chose to go to the Four Peaks area; he has done day hiking in places around Phoenix the Camelback Mountain and Squaw Peak areas, but has not been to the Four Peaks since he was a child.
Chervenka was studying astrophysics and philosophy at the time of his disappearance. He is a U.S. Navy veteran and a skilled pencil portrait artist, he plays classical guitar, and he has taken karate lessons. His case remains unsolved.