Details of Disappearance
Apke resided with his parents in Florence, Kentucky in 2000. He lost his driver's license due to a drunk driving conviction in 1998, but his driving privileges were reinstated in March 2000. Apke bounced several checks in 1997, but paid his fines and the total amounts due by April 2000. His relationship with his girlfriend of three years ended in early March 2000. According to Apke's loved ones, he does not have the type of personality which could be brought down by such events.
Apke's family members said that he was planning to turn his life around in April 2000. He secured employment as a garage door installer and even said he was planning to quit smoking cigarettes. His parents last saw him during the evening of April 7 after dinner together. Apke said he was going to meet friends to play pool. He told his family he would return to their residence by 10:00 p.m., as he was scheduled to begin work the following morning.
Apke called home twice later in the evening, the last time at approximately 11:00 p.m. He told his mother he would be returning later than expected. Apke's family has never seen him again. They stated that it was not unusual for him to leave without warning and they were not initially concerned about his lack of immediate contact. His employer called his residence on April 9 and said he never reported for work as scheduled.
He was at the Strasse Haus on Main Street in Covington, Kentucky during the evening hours of April 9. His friends told authorities that he was celebrating the reinstatement of his driver's license.
Apke's former girlfriend was also at the bar and said that he was drinking heavily during the night. According to a private investigator hired by Apke's family, he may have taken doses of the tranquilizer Valium in addition to the alcoholic beverages. He was last seen as he departed from Strasse Haus at approximately 2:30 a.m. on April 10, which was the bar's closing time.
Apke was driving his grandmother's silver 1974 Chrysler Newport at the time of his disappearance. The car was discovered abandoned at approximately 3:20 a.m., less than one hour after Apke departed from the Strasse Haus. The vehicle had been wrecked and was located in Boone County, Kentucky on an Interstate 275 bridge heading towards Indiana. There was no sign of Apke at the scene.
There was a high drop-off from the bridge to the water below, but there were no indications Apke took his own life. According to his family's private investigator, no one noticed any behavioral changes in Apke prior to his disappearance and no one thought he might be suicidal.
An extensive search of the surrounding area produced no clues as to Apke's whereabouts. A passing motorist told authorities that the driver of the wrecked Chrysler Newport entered an unidentified Jeep Cherokee by the roadside shortly after the car crashed.
Investigators do not know if Apke chose to leave his home voluntarily or if other factors were involved in his case. It is possible that Apke feared he may have problems with law enforcement and his loved ones after the automobile crash and decided to leave of his own accord. It is unknown if foul play was involved in his disappearance.
Apke never claimed his final paycheck from his previous employer before his disappearance. He has experience working as a cook in restaurants. Apke's case remains unsolved.