Details of Disappearance
Riegel was last seen in Yakima, Washington on December 25, 2009. He saw his mother that day and spoke to several friends and relatives on the phone. He promised to attend a family gathering the next day, but never showed up. His girlfriend, Ladena Mann, stated they argued and he became upset and left their shared home in the 1500 block of south 12th Avenue. He has never been heard from again.
Riegel formerly worked as a contract pilot for Cubcrafters, but his pilot's license had been suspended due to his recent neck surgery and he was unemployed at the time of his disappearance. He had lived in Yakima his whole life and frequented several area bars, including Max's, Boomer's, the Old Town Pump and the James Gang Tavern.
Prior to his disappearance, Riegel was in almost daily contact with his family and friends; none of them have heard from him since Christmas 2009. He also hasn't accessed his bank accounts or used his phone.
Mann used Riegel's electronic benefits transfer (EBT) card several times in the weeks after he vanished, spending over $1,500 in public assistance money. She also filled out an EBT card eligibility form stating Riegel still lived with her, although by then he'd been missing for two months. She was charged with welfare fraud, perjury and false verification, but the charges were dismissed after she repaid the money she'd been given and completed a diversion program.
In a media interview after her arrest, Mann stated Riegel had a drinking problem and claimed he assaulted her on the night he disappeared. She attempted to file a police report about the alleged domestic violence on January 10, 2010, a few weeks after Riegel disappeared, but she had no injuries and no witnesses besides herself, and the police said there wasn't enough evidence.
Mann claimed Riegel contacted several people, including his boss, in the months after his disappearance and she believes he's alive and his family is aware of his whereabouts. She speculated he is in Idaho or Montana. A photo of Mann is posted with this case summary. She is considered a person of interest in Riegel's disappearance.
Foul play is suspected in his case, as it's out of character for him to leave without warning. His case remains unsolved.