Details of Disappearance
Koecher was last seen leaving his residence in St. George, Utah on December 12, 2009. The following day, he spoke to two friends on his cellular phone and said he was in Las Vegas, Nevada. He offered to turn around to cover a church meeting for one of his friends, but his friend said not to bother. He has never been heard from again.
On December 14, Koecher's white 2003 Chevrolet Cavalier was found abandoned in a cul-de-sac in the 2600 block of Savannah Springs Avenue in an upscale residential neighborhood of Henderson, Nevada.
A video surveillance camera in the area showed him parking the car and leaving it there on December 13. He walked down the sidewalk, crossed the street and walked out of the frame. He was alone and didn't appear to be disoriented; it appeared as if he had a destination in mind and had parked in that location for a reason.
Koecher's shaving kit, coats, pillows and blankets were inside the vehicle, as well as Christmas gifts he'd purchased a few days before, but his cellular phone, wallet and driver's license were missing. His laptop computer and cellular phone charger were left behind at home. His car had half a tank of gas when he left it.
Almost five hours after Koecher left his car, his cellular phone signal was picked up at a tower several miles away near Arroyo Grande Boulevard and American Pacific Drive. Two hours following that, the signal was picked up in a subdivision near Sunset Drive and Stephanie Street.
Early the next morning, someone checked Koecher's voice mail and the signal was picked up at U.S. 95 and Russell Road. The phone stayed at that location for two days before the signal was lost.
It's unclear why Koecher traveled to Nevada. He is originally from Amarillo, Texas and graduated from Amarillo High School in 1998, and went on to graduate from the University of Utah.
He had been living in Salt Lake City, Utah and working for the online division of the Salt Lake Tribune, but he quit his job and moved to St. George in April 2009. His family stated he was having trouble finding a job (he had recently worked for a window washing business) and may have gone to Las Vegas to seek employment.
Koecher is a devout Mormon. He did not drink alcohol or use drugs, as per his religious beliefs.
There was speculation that Koecher's disappearance was connected to the December 2009 disappearance of Susan Powell, who was last seen in West Valley City, Utah on December 7. Because Koecher was about the same age as Powell, and disappeared from the same state at approximately the same time, investigators looked into the possibility that their disappearances were linked.
Powell's husband actually suggested they had run away together, possibly to Brazil, where Koecher had been before on a mission trip. Authorities could find no connection between the disappearances and no evidence that the two of them knew each other, however.
Koecher's parents stated there is no indication that he committed suicide or planned to walk out of his life, and authorities can't find any evidence of foul play either. He was having financial problems at the time of his disappearance due to his unemployment, but his loved ones don't know what could have caused him to vanish. His father died in February 2011, suddenly but apparently of natural causes.
Both Utah and Nevada police are investigating Koecher's disappearance, which remains unsolved.